The rapid rise and fall of backstreet workshops meant that many factories faded from the scene as quickly as they popped up, often leaving no documentary evidence of their existence. Just a few artefacts have survived and this is one of them. It is believed that this machine was commissioned by Arthur Walter Gamage who, in 1872, established a small business that grew into one of Londonís great department stores. Gamage went on to become the official supplier of uniforms to the Boy Scout movement and continued to expand his business. A large zoological department and a toy department were joined by a motor department where one could purchase a motorcycle and all the equipment required for running it.
Gamage died in 1930 and tradition has it that he lay in state in the motorcycle department with a guard of honour made up of members of his staff. Manufactured from 1905, the Gamageís basic DNA with its White and Poppe engine, Brown and Barlow carburettor, Bosch magneto, BSA frame and druid fork certainly connects it to the very beginning of low-volume, hand-finished machines. This machine has recently been re-fettled by one of New Zealandís leading specialists in the field of ventran technology.
Courtesy Webbs Auction House NZ