IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Matthew Boulton fs Sales in Christie fs -A Review of Research Trends -


  • Yoshihiko Okabe

    () (Faculty of Economics, Kobe Gakuin University)


Research about Matthew Boulton in recent years indicates that the background for his business product development was based not only on management plans for his steam engine, but also on cultural factors and new global businesses, e.g. coinage. The Bank of England launches a new ’50 note in 2011, featuring Matthew Boulton. It seems that the role of Matthew Boulton in the Industrial Revolution has come to be evaluated highly by the UK public. Boulton fs ormolu business has still been underestimated in economic and business history. However, if we look at the expansion of manufacturing ormolu, which was the core business, as was the gtoy h trade in his early career, it has been found that Boulton intended to expand the market by new lines of consumer goods and the adoption of neo-classical design. Products were diversified by the development of Blue John ware in combination with ormolu. Boulton also attempted new style sales e.g. exhibitions, where he invited the upper classes, including the royal family. Some of these attempts were not successful. From the gwindow dressing h of sales and fictitious names of bidders on sales in 1771, we know that the financial result was a failure, and also that Boulton had a hard time to find ways to deal with the result of the sales. The adoption of neo-classical design for his products could not be said to have increased sales. However, analysis of the sales in 1771 shows Boulton tried to sell not only adornment, but also many practical products with associated decoration. This method of combining decoration and practical use was visible in many Boulton products after the sales in 1771. Boulton fs business did not simply shift from decorative products to the steam engine, but also to adornments to products which had both a decorative and a practical function. The technique, accumulated in the development and manufacturing of the adornments, was combined with a practical function such as the movement of the hall clock. This had a great influence on later business, e.g. the steam engine. In other words, the experience of sales in 1771 was not a purely negative experience, but a hint of business to come in the later career of Matthew Boulton.

Suggested Citation

  • Yoshihiko Okabe, 2012. "Matthew Boulton fs Sales in Christie fs -A Review of Research Trends -," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 12-06, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  • Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:1206

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Matthew Boulton; Industrial Revolution; Economic History; Business History;

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N63 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:1206. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Atsuko SUZUKI). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.