Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Brushes Handmade in Buckinghamshire Since 1840


Brushes Handmade in Buckinghamshire Since 1840

Alexa Hotz October 28, 2013

Interest in well-designed household object has helped revitalize age-old companies the world over, including the humble wood-and-bristle brush trade. Take, for instance, Iris Hantverk, an in-demand, century-old Swedish company that employs visually impaired artisans to make its brooms and tub scrubbers. Then there is R. Russell of Buckinghamshire, England, a business established in 1840 in an outhouse attached to the Plough Public House in Chesham.

Charles Russell was caring for brewery horse and selling beer when he decided to try his hand at crafting brushes, a popular local trade. Today the operation–no long in the outhouse–is the oldest family-owned business in town. It’s run by sixth generation descendants of Russell’s who continue to craft brushes by hand that are made to last.

Just as designers Margaret Howell and Karl Lagerfeld have helped renew interest in Scotland’s textile mills, UK home goods purveyors Objects of Use and Labour & Wait, among others, are putting long-established manufacturers like R. Russell back on the map.

Above: At the turn of the century, Chesham was known for brush making with over 12 companies in the town; today R. Russell is the last remaining manufacturer. Shown here, its bristle samples in a range of shades.

Above: The Dustpan and Brush set from Labour & Wait includes a black enamel dustpan paired with the R. Russell Banister Brush for £25.

Above: You can also order brushes directly through R. Russell. The company’s promise: “We consider no order too small or too large and our personal attention is assured at all times. All enquiries will be handled personally with prompt attention to insure a positive outcome. Be assured over 160 years continuing service in the trade is at your disposal.”

Above: From Objects of Use, the R. Russell Dustpan No. 1,  £8.50, is made of black-painted steel with a loop handle for single-handed use. The Hand Broom No. 1, £8.50, is also made by R. Russell and currently being restocked; contact Objects of Use for availability.

For more household brushes, see our posts: Goat Hair Brushes for Hard-to-Reach SpacesRedecker Brushes from Germany, and Brushing Up on Traditions with Turner & Harper.

Product Summary  

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

From our Partners