Sydney Architecture Images- Gone but not forgotten

S Hoffnung and Co premises


No info currently available


165-169 Pitt St, Sydney.


Built- 1870  Demolished-


Victorian Mannerist


Rendered brick


Summary Large retailer, later moved to 153 Clarence Street, Sydney
Above- in 1870
Above- in 2015
S.(Sigmund) Hoffnung & Co Ltd. Importers & Merchants

Address: 165-169 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW

Background: Sigmond Hoffnung was born in Poland in 1830, the son of a Jewish Rabbi, but his family migrated to England in 1836. He was educated in Liverpool but due to lack of money he took a job as a junior salesman with a West Country firm. This proved beneficial as he became friendly with a customer, Henry Nathan, who lent him £500 to buy assorted goods and take them to Sydney for resale.

Hoffnung arrived in Sydney early in 1852 and opened a wholesale business in Wynyard Square. Sales went well and he was able to repay his loan and subsequently secured more stock from England with Nathan acting as his buyer. This arrangement proved successful and in 1855 Hoffnung moved to larger premises in George Street. He returned to England briefly in 1857 to formalise his partnership with Nathan and to make purchases of more stock.

In 1870 S. Hoffnung & Co. moved into new premises in Pitt Street and in 1871 they opened a Brisbane branch. The company also established other branches in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji and had its head office in London. They also had a large factory in Sydney making saddlery and harnesses. Their range of wholesale goods included American canned fruits and jams, watches, glass and china, ironmongery, rocking horses, firearms, iron safes and patent medicines. Hoffnung set up the first opal-cutting business in Australia and exported uncut diamonds and sapphires for industrial use. In 1875 he was on the committee of the Trade Protection Society of New South Wales.

In 1877 Hoffnung returned to England and took charge of the London office. His brother Abraham, who had been a successful merchant in America, Canada and England, joined S. Hoffnung & Co. in 1886. Abraham spent some years in both Australia and in London. In 1889 Sigmund retired from the company and it was restructured as a public company in 1902. Later the company moved its headquarters to 153 Clarence Street, Sydney.

Hoffnung died on 27 August 1904 aged 74. He was survived by his wife and their only child Sidney.

Sidney worked in the company and after marrying Violet Goldsmid, he took the name Hoffnung-Goldsmid. He served as a director of the company and died in 1930.