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Battersby Hats of Stockport

Family businesses come and go, and in their wake diverse snippets of stories, odd collections of photographs and other ephemera end up scattered over time. Battersby Hats of Stockport (and London) was started in 1865 on little more than a shoestring by William Battersby and his wife, who founded an enterprise that lasted for over a century and provided employment for generations of men and women all over the country.

One of the founder's great-grandsons, Rupert Battersby, has now pulled photographs and documents together with contemporary notes and letters to create a fascinating illustrated history of this once-great company. The majority of the pictures have never been seen outside the family. They give a wonderful insight into the industry and the family behind it through 101 years and two world wars, and many of them are in the Battersby Collection available through Mary Evans.

Rupert's book is available here, and to view a selection from the Battersby Collection, click here.

Dazzling designs

We've just fast-tracked a set of decorative and super-pretty 1920s pochoir greeting cards to our site, from David Pearson's eclectic illustration collection. Pochoir (the French word for 'stencil') is a printmaking technique employing stencils to create prints or add colour to existing designs. It produces textural variety, vibrant colour and crisp lines, and was most often associated with Art Deco and Art Nouveau in the early decades of the 20th century.

The cards are full of charming detail and eye-catching luminosity, while many feature snowy scenes making them perfect for Christmas. See the set here.