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one plaster cast of it they have no further hope of Ibid. benefit; and hence he traces the absence of original in- Q. 1253.9. vention in vases, tablets, foliages, &c. of which England produces so few worthy of notice. The absence of protection induces builders and manufacturers to erect a style of ornament which can be executed by workmen alike unpossessed of theoretical knowledge, and devoid of practical accuracy.
Nor is the want of protection for the models employed Iron. in the various kinds of iron manufacture to be passed
Ib. 102-7. without remark. It is stated by a partner in the house of Stewart, Smith, and Co., of Sheffield, that about £1,500 a year has been expended by that firm in the production of models for stoves and fenders alone; that of some of these Sir F. Chantrey had expressed his high admiration; and that “there is no protection at all for the inventor.” This witness exhibited a model of a stove-grate which he stated had cost £50 merely for labour, and continued
“We have sent out such a thing as that on Monday morning, and Ib. 145. it has been to Manchester and back again to Sheffield, and pirated copies returned to Manchester before Saturday night.
The piracy has come to such an extent, that unless there is some pro. tection we must give up invention altogether.
If we had protection, I should not myself hesitate in expending £200 or £300 in the production of a model for a stove-grate to morrow."
But, under the present law, the costliness and practical inaccessibility of the remedy bring the nominally protected artist and the absolutely unprotected artist to about the same level. All the witnesses examined by Papworth, the Arts' Committee are agreed that, by reason of this ut sup.;
Cockerell, combined expensiveness and uncertainty, designers are 1466 ; deterred from attempting to protect themselves, even 1762. when they come within the express provisions of the &c. &c. statute. Mr. John Henning, the modeller of the
well-known imitation of the Panathenaic frieze, states, that
“ As soon as the casts are issued, whoever lays hands on them may, with very little trouble, take models in sulphur, wax, or plaster, and multiply them to any number—there being no protection, but in an action at law. ... I think,” he continues, “such property as much my own as my clothing. The originals exist in the Museum, open to all who desire to make studies of them,
and this would be honorable strife, who could do best; but what hand or heart can contend against the covetous and unjust, who, by the cunning labour of a few days, can contrive to rob me of years of life,
and scatter over the land the deteriorated casts of my works.. Ev. I. 853, The thing wanted is a cheap tribunal.” 856. 3. Of Pat- I pass now to the large class of artistical design, com
prehended under the general term of PATTERNS. 27 Geo.III.
The 27 Geo. III. c. 38, entitled, “An Act for the encouragement of the Arts of designing and printing Linens, Cottons, Calicoes, and Muslins, by vesting the property thereof in the Designer, Printer, and Proprietor for a limited time,” gives to every person who shall invent, design, and print, or cause to be invented, designed, and printed, and become the proprietor of any new and original pattern for printing linen, cotton, calico, or muslin, the sole right of printing or reprinting the same for two months from the day of first publishing, such date, with the name of the proprietor, to be duly printed on the fabric; and any person reprinting it without the written consent of the proprietor, attested by two witnesses, is made liable to an action on the case for damages-to be brought within six months. This Act was to be in force for one year, and to the end of the then next session.
The 29 Geo. III. c. 19, recites the former Act, and 29 Geo.III.
continues it up to July 1, 1794. And by the 34 Geo. III. 34Geo. III.
c. 23, the term is extended to three months, and the Act made perpetual.
The protection thus afforded extending only to printed cottons (and to them imperfectly), several manufactures, which are now of the highest importance, enjoy no protection whatever. The consequences hence resulting are especially noticeable in the silk and lace manufactures. In the former, the patterns most in use are almost entirely copies of French patterns, or slight variations from such. Mr. James, an eminent Spitalfields manufacturer, states, that there is but a very small degree of talent employed in Spitalfields in the production of patterns. “We are," he says, “almost destitute of Arts' taste in that department.
I am not acquainted 365-380. with any drawer of patterns who is an educated artist. We have no protection for patterns.” Mr. Smith, of the firm of Harding and Smith, states, “ that the French silk manufacturers usually bring them as many as two hundred new designs in different fabrics ready made, and he adds
“The English manufacturers experience much difficulty in this respect. They more commonly ask us for designs or patterns, or they enquire if we know what the French are likely to produce. We have very few and sometimes none submitted to us by our own manufacturers. If we incur expense, our design is too frequently pirated in a different quality."
And Mr. Howell, of the firm of Howell and James, states, Ib. 417. that he can scarcely procure a good designer or a good See ante, pattern drawer in England ; adding, that the superiority pp. 19, 20. in the French shawls is in the design, not the materials. of Mr. MorThe same is said to be the case with respect to ribands, and of Mr. gloves, and what are called fancy articles in general.* Samuel
In regard to the lace manufacture, there appears to be an additional difficulty arising from the circumstance Lace.
* On this subject, the evidence of Mr. Robert Harrison, of the firm of Brydges, Campbell, and Harrison, may also be consulted with advantage.-See Rep. I., 455, et seq.
Arts' Evid. II. 158-165.
that the work is done not on the premises of the manufacturer, but at the homes of the families employed. The manufacturer appoints a day, when his lace makers meet him at an inn; he buys the lace they have made, gives them new patterns and parchment to work on, and does not see them again until his next journey. This practice of course gives great facility to the operations of a number of persons of either sex, who go about the country searching for new patterns, which they will buy whenever they can, for the purpose of selling again. So that it not unfrequently happens that a manufacturer has his own pattern offered him for sale. Mr. Millward, a lace manufacturer of Olney, stated in evidence before the Arts' Committee, that in the preceding July he had four or five new patterns nicely drawn on parchment, and given out at Stony Stratford. Except one piece, he lost the whole, patterns, parchment, and lace makers. In another case, a few days before his examination, a woman brought him a piece of blonde, which not being his own he declined buying. As an inducement, she told him it was a new pattern, and that but one bit of it had been sold. It seems, in fact, that most of the lace makers sell the patterns intrusted to them whenever they think they can profit by it. Mr. Millward adds, , that not more than one pattern in ten suits the general taste, and that is generally the one which becomes common to the whole trade. It is not therefore surprising that while there are said to be at least a hundred thousand persons employed in lace making in the midland counties, even in its depressed state, there are only two or three designers of patterns.
Evidence of the depressing effects of piracy in matters decoration. of decoration, such as paper-hanging and the like, will
be found in the examination of Mr. Cockerell, which
has been already referred to; and also in that of Mr. 497, et seq. George Morant, the eminent decorator, of New Bond
street. The former gentleman says, also, with reference Floor-cloth. to floor-cloth
“It was but yesterday that I had occasion to see an eminent floorcloth manufacturer, who stated to me that his designs were copied within a few weeks after he issued them, by a cheap house in Bristol. These gentlemen,” adds Mr. Cockerell, “express their obligation, but they say, 'we cannot continue to employ you, because we have Evid. II. no protection for the designs after they are made.'"
The last species of copyright which I shall notice as Letters affecting the Plastic Arts in some one or other of their mechanical
inventions. branches, is that which is afforded by means of LETTERS PATENT FOR INVENTIONS.
These have, at present, their legal origin, as is well known, in a saving clause of the famous Act against monopolies, of the 21 James I. Statute of
monopolies, c. 3, which provides that the declaration therein before 21 Jac. 1. mentioned
“Shall not extend to any letters patent or grants of privilege for the term of fourteen years or under, hereafter to be made of the sole working or making of any manner of new manufacture within this realm, to the true and first inventor or inventors of such manufactures, which others at the time of making such letters patent and grants shall not use; so also they be not contrary to the law, nor mischievous to the state, by raising prices of commodities at home, or hurt of trade, or generally inconvenient. The said fourteen years to be accounted from the date of the first letters patent or grant of such privilege, hereafter to be made, but that the same shall be of such force, or they should be, if this Act had never been made, and of none other."
This, then, is the present legal foundation of patents for invention. That it is an eminently imperfect and insecure one must be obvious upon a bare perusal. It is totally out of accordance with the wants and demands of the present period, however adequate it may have been to its immediate purpose. But this is not at all surprising, if it be remembered that the clause is a mere exception, hastily introduced into a severely contested