Dixon & Sons Round Britannia Metal Whistles & Model #49. Part I.e. A Strauss

Dixon & Sons Round Britannia Metal Whistles & Model #49.

James Dixon  started making Britannia Metal (Invented c.1770) whistles Before 1850, Here is a group photo of 16 round pea britannia metal whistles,
11 of which were positively identified as made by Dixon & Sons, two were later found in a German (Marked as such).
Some marked X still need a second close examination dew to newly discovered catalogues by other makers.

Model #10 was made in two sizes, a distinctive Dixon’s Flushed Pillar Top Finial.
See the two sizes made in the group photo above top right is the larger model and 3rd from top left the smaller. This model was made in two sizes, but other earlier versions are noted;

Dixon & Sons Round pea whistle with a small mushroom shaped pip on top of pillar finial . 

Here is model #10  with a retailer’s stamp; “Whistler 11 Strand St. (from whistlecollection)
Edward Whistler was a Dealer in assorted goods including Guns & Pistols. His store was located at 11 Strand, opposite Trafalgar Square,
London, from the mid 1800s.

I now move to a new discovery after enlarging one of the 41 Dixon’s whistles in the Sheffield city collection, sorry that it is the best I could do photo wise,
The actual whistle, one from the whistle museum collection shown here is one of 4 or 5 variants I have, (Unfortunately not all in hand at the moment) but from the photos of the 4 or 5 this one seems the closest one. In any case as most would admit, it is a fascinating design, a compound round mouthpiece, as invented by porteous see Stevens & Sons article here.
I know some collectors would utter “If only it was brass… “, still a great design and Britannia metal, ( Pewter can not be plated.. and this example is clearly plated. 

Actual one or VERY close;This whistle was used with the Glasgow police c 1900 to 1920.
Here is a VARIATION which is not as close to the one in the collection.

Small  Britannia metal whistle 50mm, Acorn top finial, (Photo byL. Bailey)
Using “Sheffield Fipple”


Back view; 
Another whistle stamped Dixon & Sons, (from whistlecollection)
“Sheffield Fipple”.
“Sheffield Fipple” taken out of the next whistle:

Set of 7 Britannia metal whistles (Collection of Dan Wood)
4 Acorn top finials one Model #10 on the right.
Model #8 & #9, whistles with ball top finials; one has to double check before attributing to Dixon, since these were used by various makers, including ones in France and Germany. The Ball Finials Model #8 & #9 and a circular cut mouth piece, were later made in 5 sizes.

With original chain & hook

Largest size Britannia metal (Middle of previous photo and middle of top photo)  brings to mind another topic not previously discussed and that is
THE WINDOW SIDE VIEW design, Note diagonal cut to window in the next illustration !

Illustration; The side view design of two types of common window sides (There are more).

It is interesting to compare the diagonal – straight cut with the circular – curved one, as well as the correlation between Sheffield Fipple and these.

Model #30 Length;  60mm

Model #30 with notched window variation: 


Model #49, a Two Chamber, Double Chamber whistle, it has a split Sheffield fipple.

Drawing from Dixon & Sons Catalogue

The “Sheffield Fipple” on the back of model #49

A similar model which may be by a German maker, who made Britannia metal whistles and used Pillar top finials, still to be verified. 

I would not be surprised to find a double chamber made by Dixon in Ivory.

To Be continued & updated
I wish to thank Mr. Leif Bailey, The whistlecollection website, and Mr. Dan Wood, for contributing photos.

Links to 7 other Parts from this article. 

Part I (6 chapters)
Brief History and data (19th Century)
Part I.a. Round whistles by Dixon & Sons;
Early Period Round Whistles and ‘The sheffield Mouthpiece & Fipple’ I. a.,

Round Ivory & Horn I.b.
Animal Head Whistles, I.c.

Round Brass & German Silver Whistles. Signal Whistles and ‘Pig nose’ Whistles
Round Britannia Metal Whistles & Model #49. Part I.e.

Part 2
More whistles by Dixon & Sons, including
Extractors, Shooting Gudgets & More II.b. 

Last one is II.c. with  Double end whistles, Bicycle whistles, TNTW police type, Escargot- Snail Whistle steam alarm, speaking tube whistles, catalogue excerpts; numbered models; stamps; materials and whistle types; retailers.

James Dixon & Sons article by Avner Strauss, All rights reserved 2018.

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