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He was a manufacturer of cast-iron stoves who built an industrial and residential community in Guise in northern France, which he converted to cooperative ownership and management by his workers.

In 1840, aged 23 and with a small factory in Esquéhéries, also in northern France, Godin began making castings for stoves.

In that year he took out the first of many patents for what he believed would become the product of the age.

Market domination

Taking advantage of the new railway at Guise, Godin moved the factory there in 1846, manufacturing cast-iron stoves in many shapes and designs.

By the end of the 1900s, and with a further 2000 employees, Godin dominated the European stove market.

Bates, an upholsterer and Nellist, an antiques dealer, who stand at Arthur Swallow Fairs, have some early 20th century examples of Godin’s stoves for sale.

“With the advent of the 20th century and the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements, designs became ornate and stylised,” said Bates.

“Although they were not as elaborate and decorative as some other companies, such as Deville and Rosières, the stoves they produced were, as always with Godin, extremely efficient and featured superb quality enamelling.

“Some of these original designs are still in production in the Godin factory today.”

Based in Leicestershire, Jeffrey and Day is a small independent antiques business specialising in French decorative architectural pieces and ‘fascinating curiosities’.

You can catch up with them at Arthur Swallow’s decorative home and salvage show at Loseley Park, near Guildford in Surrey, from July 13-15.