In 1788 Thomas Pantin established a company at 88 Smithfield in the City of London. Pantin was a merchant who acquired goods, including antique furniture from Europe, for the wealthy living in London. His eye for quality quickly bought him success and he soon established important connections with the English nobility and the Royal Family.
The company also dealt in hemp and bristles and this side of the business got a huge boost when Thomas Pantin conducted a remarkable piece of business. After the Treaty of Tilsit in 1807, Napoleon attempted to blockade the south coast. Pantin had forseen trouble and purchased large quantities of bristles from St. Petersburg in Russia. By shipping the cargo to Hull he avoided the blockade and prospered handsomely from the deal.
William Abel Pantin and his brother Charles were the grandsons of Thomas Pantin. Together they formed a formidable partnership which saw the company expand into mechanical engineering. The business thrived under their stewardship and the company changed its name to W. & C. Pantin during their tenure.
For the majority of the 20th century the company was located in Epping before a move back to central London. Today, the managing director is Matthew Wallis, a fourth generation grandson of founder Thomas Pantin. The business focuses on the antique clock market.