[ The Patent Office, London. ] Signatures of 44 members of staff to manuscript calligraphic testimonial, in black, red and gold, paying tribute on his retirement 'To Ralph Griffin, Esq., F.S.A., Registrar of Designs and Trade Marks.'

[ Ralph Hare Griffin (1854-1941), Registrar of Designs and Trade Marks at the Patent Office, London, and Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries ] [ A. E. Housman; St John's College, Cambridge ]
Publication details: 
[ The Patent Office, London. ] 31 December 1919.
SKU: 17525

2pp., on bifolium with leaf dimensions 36.5 x 28 cm. On thick wove paper. In good condition, lightly-aged. The attractive calligraphic testimonial is on the recto of the first leaf, and is laid out in a sort of modified Gothic script, with initial capitals in red and gold. It is headed in large script 'To Ralph Griffin, Esq., F.S.A., | Registrar of Designs and Trade Marks.', with the date at the foot. The first paragraph reads: 'As Members of the Staff of the Designs and Trade Marks Branches, We desire to express our sincere and deep regret at the termination of your service in the Patent Office - a service extending over a period of Thirty Years during which the conduct and practice of the two Branches have been under your control.' Griffin is praised for his 'skill and foresight', in the hope that 'the greater leisure' that he will enjoy will allow him to devote himself 'to the studies which so deeply interest you'. The forty-four signatures of members of staff - from 'E. E. Atkins' and 'A. H. Blackman' to 'J. W. Woolliscroft' and 'Richard Wright' - are neatly laid out in two columns within ruled red borders on the recto of the second leaf. Himself a cultured man, having been educated at St John's College, Cambridge, Griffin was A. E. Housman's superior during his ten-year stint at the Patent Office, and recalled that his letters were always 'beautifully expressed quite surpassing those of his fellows: and I fear that I used him too much as a scribe in consequence'.