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Silversmiths

Stuart Devlin

Stuart Devlin is one of the great contemporary gold and silversmiths and has been acclaimed by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths as the designer with 'the Midas touch'.

In the 1960's and 70's some silversmiths were disenchanted with designing anonymously for big manufacturing firms, which were in decline, and they set out on their own. They focused on their own style and had a personal commitment to the marketing of their own productions. The business designer craftsmen Stuart Devlin and Gerald Benney led in this field. Devlin was very successful with the idea of limited editions and the most popular of these were the surprise Easter eggs and Christmas boxes, which were so successful commercially that they have now become collector's items.

He was born in Geelong, Australia, in 1931. In his third year of secondary education, he chose to become an art teacher, specializing in gold and silversmithing. In 1957 he obtained a post at a Melbourne college and studied for a Diploma of Art in gold and silversmithing. On the strength of this achievement, he was awarded scholarships to study at the Royal College of Art in London in 1958. He excelled and, as a result, was awarded a Fellowship by the Harkness Foundation of New York. He chose to spend the two-year fellowship at Columbia University in the U.S.
On the completion of his overseas study in 1962, he returned to teach in Melbourne, Australia, and subsequently became an inspector of art schools. In 1964, he won a competition to design the first decimal coinage for Australia.
In 1965, he moved to London and opened a small workshop. This marked the beginning of Devlin's true style. He changed his design direction away from "the austerity of the Bauhaus/Scandinavian Schools to a romantic use of precious metal." He concluded that the role for a contemporary silversmith is to enrich the way people live and work. He felt the nature of his craft and the romance of precious metals gave him an opportunity to design pieces that added delight, surprise, intrigue, and even amusement to what had become austere and even sterile within the modern idiom of design.
Increasingly he turned out rich and romantic pieces that retained simple forms. Developing these pieces required technical innovation because the traditional methods of enrichment were notavailable.


Eric Clements

Born 1925 in Rugby. Spent three years at Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts from 1942 until war service interrupted his training. In 1948 he won a travelling scholarship and spent 3 weeks in Scandinavia where he was impressed by Sigurd Perrson in Stockholm, Henning Koppel at Jensen and Hans Hansen in Copenhagen. 1949-52 at the Royal College of Art in London and taught at a secondary modern school in Ealing. (Des. RCA, FSIA, FRSA). Returned to Birmingham where he spent 10 years teaching at the School of Jewellery and Silversmithing in Vittoria Street. Consultant designer at Mappin & Webb and then British Silverware. He played a major part in the re-organisation of the Birmingham College of Art from 1964-72 when he was Head of the School of Industrial Design. He then became Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design and Assistant Director of the Polytechnic of Wolverhampton



Jocelyn Burton

Born in Wales 1946. She intended to read modern languages at Cambridge but instead trained as a silversmith under Jack Stapley in London at Sir John Cass College as she knew that she "needed to create things." Studied etching and mezzotint here as well with Radovan Kraguli. 1966 travelling scholarship to Yugoslavia and the following year she won the De Beers International Award for diamond jewellery while still at college but left in her third year as she was not allowed to undertake practical experience one day a week. In 1970 she set up her studio in London at 50c Red Lion Street and had a one-man show at the Archer Gallery in Dover Street. Often uses naturalistic shells in her designs for domestic silver and this work is based on her own designs - from preliminary sketches to finished colour drawings. These drawings are works of art and are prized for their own sake. The Thames and Hudson Manual of Silversmithing by Frances Loyen was published in 1970 and contained many illustrations of Jocelyn's work from this period. In 1975 she produced some designs for Aurum. In 1976 she was commissioned to produced a fountain for the Fishmonger's Company for the Queen's Silver Jubilee. In 1995 Jocelyn Burton won the United Kingdom Jeweler Award for best design in silver and in 1998 had an exhibition at Asprey and Garrard in Bond Street. She received the Prince Phillip Medal in 2003. Her work is in many public and private collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, 10 Downing Street, St Paul's Cathedral London and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
Personal statement: "The world truly is "my oyster" in the sense that I am fascinated by the beauty and complexity of nature. I pay great attention to detail, often incorporating precious and semi precious stones and finely chased figurative decoration but I strive overall for timelessness and boldness of concept and form."


Charles Boyton


Charles Boyton and Sons was founded in 1809 and eventually ceased trading in 1933. The director Charles Boyton (1885-1958) a Liveryman, broke away from the old firm and set up wholesale silversmiths in Marylebone Lane and a retail premises in Wigmore Street in 1934 although pieces bearing his facsimile signature date from 1930 while he was still working for his father. Some of his work is inspired by the Pyramid pattern designed by Harald Nielsen in 1926 for Georg Jensen.




A E Bonner

Albert Edward Bonner entered his hallmark in 1905 (registered at Holland Street, off Kensington Church Street, London). By 1909 boxed items were stamped A E Bonner 17 Gordon Place, Kensington, W. Some of his work is enamelled or stone-set and has been noted until 1915.


Michael Bolton

Michael Allen Bolton Born in London 1938. He was self taught and began his career as a maker of silverware and jewellery in 1970 after an initial career in commerce. He exhibited successfully at the Goldsmith's Company 'Loot' exhibitions from 1975 to 1981 and in their 'Contemporary Silver Tableware' exhibition in 1996. In that catalogue it stated "His work in silver and gold is inspired by the magic and aura of Celtic, Roman and Anglo-Saxon metalwork, the romanticism of the King Arthur legends, and the ethics and ideology of the late 19th and 20th century British Arts and Crafts movement." His hammered approach to the silver material accentuates the malleability of its surface, creating a finish that is unique to him. In 1977 Sir Anthony Touche commissioned a goblet for his use as Assistant at Goldsmith's Hall and in 1990 a pair of vases to commemorate his year as Prime Warden. A Freeman of both the Goldsmith's Company and the City of London - Bolton has exhibited widely and his work is in many City Livery Companies and Royal collections as well as making the silverware for the film "The Madness of King George." He was a member of the Association of British Designer Silversmiths ABDS and also the Cornish Craft Association. In 2003 he exhibited at 'Love Story' in the Goldsmith's Hall making a collar and jewellery for Tony Foard's model of a bride.
He worked mainly to commission with young designers and assistants near Launceston in Cornwall and his clients included: The Worshipful Companies of Goldsmiths, Cutlers and Carpenters; the Indian High Commission in Brussels; Glenda Jackson, Julie Andrews, Stanley Kubrick & Lord Palumbo. Michael Bolton died in early 2005.

Personal Statement: "In designing and hand making I draw my inspiration from the strength, visual impact and theatricality of medieval metalwork in all its various forms, together with the ethics of the early 20th century British Arts & Crafts movement tinged with the magic and romanticism of the King Arthur Legends. I enjoy working on a one to one basis with my clients in the hope that they get as much joy from the creative process as I do. I work for most part by hand directly into sterling silver and high carat golds, using only basic hand tools, simply for the pure joy of the creative process and using such a beautiful, responsive and forgiving raw material."



Gerald Benney

Gerald Benney 1930 -2008 He went to Brighton College of Art 1946-8 (his father was Principal) where he trained as a silversmith in the workshop of Dunstan Pruden at Ditchling. After military service he attended the Royal College of Art 1950-53 under Professor Robert Goodden. (Benney was Professor of Silversmithing and Jewellery here from 1974 to 1983). In 1953 he rented a workshop from the retiring owner Mr. S W Ide, the best gold-plater in London, at Whitfield Place off Tottenham Court Road. In 1958 he was made a Freeman of the Goldsmith's Company. 1964 elected a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. In 1969 he moved his London studio to Falcon Wharf, Bankside and by 1973 was at warehouses in Bear Lane, Southwark. Christopher Lawrence and Brian Fuller were both managers for him. With the crippling increase in VAT on luxury goods in 1974 he had to let most of his 19 staff go and moved everything to Beenham House, his home in Berkshire, where he stayed until 1998. Bear Lane was sold to Grant MacDonald who had a larger export market to the Middle East. From 1957-1969 Benney was Consultant Designer to Viners of Sheffield, designing pieces for silver, pewter and stainless steel production. In 1971 he became a Royal Designer for Industry. He had one man exhibitions at Goldsmith's Hall in 1973, enamels in 1994 and another in 2005. From 1974-1980 he received 4 Royal Warrants of appointment. Most important for the development of silver design he was appointed Professor at the Royal College of Art from 1974-1983. In 1981 he became Assistant at the Goldsmith's Hall. In 1993 his son Simon opened the showroom Benney in Walton Street where he is carrying on the tradition.

Personal Statement "My philosophy as such is to project and involve my own personal design theme without too much reference to others in the field."




Geoffrey Bellamy

Geoffrey Guy Bellamy: 1922 - 1997. Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. He often stamped his pieces with a facsimile signature.

In 1940 he joined the RAF and served until the end of the war flying Lancasters in 405 squadron before moving on to the Pathfinder force where he won the DFC and bar. He lost 2 crews, one while on sick-leave recovering from a flak wound, the other while he was seconded elsewhere, and flew 112 missions.
After the war he studied at the Birmingham College of Art from 1946-1950 and then at the Royal College of Art from 1950-1953 graduating the same year as younger colleagues Gerald Benney and David Mellor. He and Mellor were the first two students to win first class honours in the silver degree course and all of the younger students admired him. Eric Clements was there at the same time and Robert Welch graduated in 1955, all of them being taught by Robert Goodden.
Bellamy started his own one-man workshop in London in a small basement beneath a dry-cleaner's in Cadogan Street making small items, some for the retailer George Tarratt in Leicester. With Ivan Tarratt they formed Bellamy & Tarratt, a production silver company which lasted until 1959. He then did some designs for A E Jones. Bellamy won a Design Centre Award in 1961 for his "Monte Carlo" cutlery, made by George Wolstenholme in Sheffield. Before 1964 he joined the Council of Industrial Design as Industrial Liason Officer for silver and the allied industries, his job being to encourage good designs. (Committees under him at this time rejected industrial designs that Gerald Benney had done for 8 separate companies. Many of these were commercially successful and helped Benney finance his silversmithing.
Bellamy enjoyed teaching and became Head of the Sheffield College of Art and then Principal at Canterbury and Maidstone




Aurum

Aurum was an agency that specialised in marketing limited editions of
commemorative Cathedral silver goblets as collector's items of contemporary design with
historic interest. They used many of the best 20th. century designers and silversmiths

The ARTIFICERS GUILD and EDWARD SPENCER

Edward Napier Hitchcock Spencer Born in 1873 and trained in the architect's office of Henry Wilson. Nelson Dawson founded the Artificers Guild in 1901 and Spencer, who had been one of Dawson's workshop employees in Chiswick, became a fellow-guildsman and junior designer. In 1903 (until 1906) the Guild was acquired by Montague Fordham, who had been the first director of the Birmingham Guild of Handicraft, and moved the showroom to the Fordham Gallery in Maddox Street where the work of Henry Wilson, May Morris and John Paul Cooper were already available. Spencer took over as chief designer from Dawson for the Guild. The workshop was in Oil Mill Lane, Hammersmith. After the First World War the Artificers Guild moved to 4 Conduit Street and also opened a branch in Kings Parade, Cambridge and sold in Oxford. The Guild held frequent exhibitions and their work was featured in The Studio and they were among the few commercially successful craft guilds. At their peak they had a staff of 40 and had employed orphan boys as apprentices. Spencer was a designer of many forms of silverware and often incorporated other materials such as ivory, shagreen, nuts, wood or mother-of-pearl and had been influenced by the work of Cooper. Spencer also did some design work for the Upchurch Pottery in Kent.
Spencer died in 1938 and the Guild closed in 1942



Brian Asquith

Brian Asquith 1930 - 2008 in Sheffield he started at the junior art department at the Sheffield College of Arts and Crafts and gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in 1947-51 where he studied in the School of Sculpture under Professor Frank Dobson. National service 1951-3, returned to Sheffield and developed an industrial design practice in 1955 where he shared a workshop with David Mellor until 1960. The 'Brian Asquith Design Partnership', housed in a studio workshop in Youlgreave, Derbyshire combined in the 1960's and 1970's a flourishing industrial design business with production in precious metals. In 1967 he accompanied the Goldsmith's Company exhibition to the Lincoln Center in New York and looked after the main exhibit, a Paul de Lamerie dish, in his hotel room before its installation. He began making his own silverware in 1968. He has several Design Council awards for both coal and gas fired domestic appliances and has produced a range for Alessi in stainless steel and silver in the 1990's, as well as domestic silver for Downing Street, commissioned by the Silver Trust in 1993 and work for Lichfield and Chichester Cathedrals. Since 1963 he has lived and worked in the Peak District with his three sons. In the late 1960's he was very involved with the Goldsmith's Company and its extensive programme of overseas exhibitions, is a Liveryman and had a retrospective exhibition at the Hall in 1993 and in Sheffield's Millenium Galleries in 2004. He died in March 2008.




Philip Frederick Alexander

Philip Frederick Alexander entered his hallmark in July 1900 at 28 Church Row, Hampstead, and London and produced fine Arts and Craft silverwork. He achieved a Master of Arts degree and while at Hertford College, Oxford edited a series of books on the history of geographical discovery published by Cambridge University Press. In May 1915 while at Walberswick, Suffolk 'The North-West and North-East Passages 1576-1611' and in June 1917 while on Exmoor at Desolate, Brendon 'The Discovery of America 1492-1584'

John Michael Driver

John Michael Driver eas trained in silversmithing at Sheffield College of Art before going on to the Royal College of Art where he mastered in design. He still works in London and has had his work exhibited at Goldsmith's Hall in 1998,1999 and 2001

Leslie Durbin: 1913 - 2005

started at Central School of Arts and Crafts1926-9, apprenticed to the mighty Omar Ramsden 1929-38. Held all the Goldsmith's Company's scholarships. A Goldsmith's Company scholarship in 1938 enabled him not only to study silversmithing but also to undertake modelling and life classes. Consequently, the use of modelling and silversmithing, as a combination of techniques, has characterised Durbin's silver designs in subsequent years. Established a workshop in 1945 in partnership with Leonard Moss, who had been senior to him with Omar Ramsden. His workshops were at 62 Rochester Place, Camden Town. For his work on the Stalingrad Sword, given by Churchill to Stalin, in the service of the King in 1943 he was made a MRVO. Taught for a while at the Central School and RCA while Gerald Benney, David Mellor and Robert Welch were students. Made a CBE in 1976 for his contribution to the silver craft. Durbin designed the Queen's Head for the Royal Jubilee commemorative assay mark and reverse of £1 coins in the 1980's. His studio was taken over by Hector Miller in 1976 who is still working from the same address. Durbin was honoured in 1982 with a one-man exhibition at Goldsmith's Hall entitled "Fifty Years of Silversmithing."
Julian Cross

Julian Cross Born in Harrow 1955. He is a self-taught painter, sculptor and silversmith. Julian Cross has come to silversmithing late: until about seven years ago he was a painter when he rediscovered the art of modelling. This resulted in the production of a series of small sculptures and jewellery in silver. He also produced his own range of jewellery.
In 1990 Julian Cross first entered the Goldsmiths' Craft Council Annual Craftsmanship and Design Awards. In 1992 he was awarded first prize in the modellers' section. This led to a commission from the Goldsmiths' Company for the Prime Warden's Medal for Lord Nelson of Stafford. Julian Cross was commissioned to produce a medal for the British Art Medal Society in 1992.

He is a member of the British Art Medal Society and the Society of Numismatic Artists and Designers







20th. century Silversmiths

Anthony Elson

Anthony Gordon Elson: B. 1935 Worthing, Sussex. Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.

In 1956 trained under Dunstan Pruden at Brighton College of Art where he received a diploma.
1960 to the Royal College of Art with a BA and Silver Medal for geometrical decoration in 1963 and in 1964 received a travelling bursary. Worked for William Comyns Ltd. 1964-68 where he was introduced to the production techniques that governed commercial viability. He went to Geneva and Tiffany's factory in New York. 1968 bought Blunt & Wray, an old established ecclesiastical manufacturer which produced mainly brass churchwork but had a small silversmithing workshop. By 1976 the company employed 25 producing Elson's designs, the domestic silver production subsidising the ecclesiastical business. He aimed at mass production through retailers and a fine jug (1972) and cigarette box (1974) in the Goldsmiths Company collection illustrates his work. With the decline of the ecclesiastical market and tough economic climate of the late 1970's he appointed a liquidator in 1981 and this side of the business was sold to A E Jones in Birmingham. In the same year he formed Anthony Elson Silversmiths establishing a successful design and prototype workshop in Clerkenwell, London, working with freelance specialists, concentrating on individual silver commissions.
In 1979 he edited a book published by the NAG "A Silversmith's Manual" by Bernard Cuzner. Elson has been the Chairman of the Council for Craft at the Goldsmith's Company and also served on the Council of City of London Guilds. Many prominent commissions from the City of London, London Stock Exchange, City livery companies, universities, corporations, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Lincoln Cathedral and the King of Nepal. Has exhibited widely in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and the Middle East. His work can be found in many private and institutional collections.
In 2002 he moved his studio and workshop to Sussex where he continues his commssioned work. He is currently developing a new technique to colour silver with stunning results.

Personal Statement
With a thorough understanding of the craft and concern about the diminishing range of skills within the industry, my designs endeavour, when interpreting the wishes of my patrons, to combine these rare skills with imagination.

Brian Leslie Fuller

Brian Leslie Fuller was a scholar at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London before being indentured to Wakely and Wheeler working under Frank Beck. In 1966 he joined Gerald Benney and two years later was made General Manager. In 1975 he started his own studio in Clerkenwell before opening a retail shop and workshop in Old Amersham in 1977. It was there that he adopted the local Glis Glis Dormouse as his Trade Mark. His work ranges from jewellery to domestic and ceremonial silver and commissions include pieces for the church, many London Livery Companies as well as business and private clients. He has lectured and taught widely.

Guild of Handicraft

George Henry Hart Born 1882- was one of the original silversmiths who moved with Charles Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft from London to Chipping Camden in 1902. From 1912 he took over the running of the workshops but with the difficult conditions after the First World War he concentrated on farming until his success in the 1926 and 1927 Goldsmith's Company competitions. He was made a Freeman in 1929 and was joined in 1930 by his son, Henry. In 1933 he became a Liveryman. For a time he was joined by his half-brother Reynell Huyshe and the impressed mark on some metal wares was Hart and Huyshe, Campden, Glos. Huyshe was more of an academic and left to teach at the Gravesend School of Art where he taught, among others, Alex Styles. Now George Hart's grandson David Hart is left to continue the work of the Guild of Handicraft together with the next generation. He died in1973

Anthony Hawksley

Anthony Hawksley Born 1921 Trained at the Maidstone School of Art before moving on to the Royal College of Art. In 1951 he exhibited at the Festival of Britain for the Goldsmith's Hall. By 1952 he was lecturing and teaching silversmithing in both Birmingham and Oxford and set up a workshop at his home. Payne & Son of Oxford started retailing his silver and jewellery as well as commissioning pieces for the Oxford Colleges and private collections. In 1972 Payne's commissioned Hawksley to create a collection of silver for use in Wolfson College, Oxford for their new building which was of a very distinctive design. Hawksley visited the buildings while they were being built and created the collection from his impressions of the new building, which included acid-etched designs from a technique he had pioneered in the 1960's. In 1981 he exhibited at the Westminster Gallery, Boston, USA and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London have a silver collar he made in the 1960's. He moved house several times and had lived at Great Rollright, North Oxford and Moreton Hampstead in Devon. He had his workshop at home until he died in 1991.

Bernard Instone

Born 1891 in Birmingham and given an interest in jewellery by his brother Lewis at the age of 7. When Bernard was 12 he went to the Vittoria Street School on a scholarship and was so successful that he continued there with two further scholarships learning practical silversmithing and jewellery. Bernard and his brother went to Berlin to study following an invitation by the German Court goldsmith Emil Lettre but Lewis died in an accident there. Bernard went to work with John Paul Cooper in his Westerham studio until he was called up for the First World War. In 1919 he set up the Langstone silver works with his brother Reginald in Digbeth, Birmingham. Bernard was made a Freeman of the Goldsmith's Company in 1936 and a Liveryman in 1938. By now he was selling to a broad range of clients including Sibyl Dunlop who he visited every Friday at her shop in Kensington, supplying her with made up designs already marked up with the SD mark ready for the retail market. In the 1940's Liberty became a customer after 25 years of trying to sell to them and around this time he opened a shop in Salcombe, Devon which sold the cheaper range of his jewellery as well as paintings and the family had many holidays down there. In 1944 his brother Reginald left, the sole remaining employee because of the war. In 1953 Bernard moved the business to Solihull where his sons John and Paul gradually took over until Bernard retired in 1963 and spent the rest of his life in the Cotswolds with his wife Barbara who he had married in 1922. He died in 1987.

Georg Jensen

Georg Jensen: 1866 - 1935.

The Great Danish silversmith, sculptor and potter
studied at the Copenhagen Royal Academy
and had several ventures before opening his
own workshop in Copenhagen in 1904. He
began collaborating with painter and designer
Johan Rhode in 1907 and opened a shop in
Berlin (1908) and won International acclaim at
the 1910 Brussels Exhibition. More shops were
opened in Paris (1919) London (1920) Stockholm
(1930). A New York shop was opened by Jost
Lunning in 1920 and these all sold Jensen's high
quality mass-produced silver items and jewellery.
The New York Herald Tribune hailed him as the
"greatest silversmith of the last 300 years," Many
of the early designs are still in production today.


A E Jones

Albert Edward Jones: 1878 -1954 was born into a family
of craftsmen dating back to 1780, and died in 1954.

"A piece of silverwork to be really interesting must be
endued with a Spirit of Art....." A E Jones 1906

Apprenticed to Woodwards then Hardman Powells,
and trained at the Birmingham Central School of Arts,
under Edward Taylor he gained a reputation as a
developer and innovator . He worked as a Guildsman
at the Birmingham Guild of Handicraft where he was
influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement and met
many artists and designers. Having made some
bronzeware at his father's premises he left the family
metalwork business and set up on his own in 1902.
Success came quickly, the workshop attracting a
talented group of artists and craftsmen inspired by
the Arts and Crafts movement. In 1905 he acquired
Jesson and Birkett with its trade mark of St. Dunstan
hand-raising a bowl. He collaborated with Edward
Taylor's son Howson, owner of Ruskin Pottery, in
mounting and using the coloured pottery as liners
for some of his silverwork which at this time was
all hand raised. The company produced many clock
cases with French movements and a considerable
amount of Ecclesiastical work.


Enid Kelsey

Enid Kelsey worked from 17 Northway, Temple Fortune, London, NW11. She wrote a play 'The Stars' with her husband Cyril which was revived for the Garden Suburb Theatre, NW 11 1999/2000 season.
(Cyril Kelsey, known as 'the Professor', had started his apprenticeship as a silversmith with Charles Ashbee in 1899, and been involved in many of the Guild's plays before joining the army and going to South Africa. On his return he worked as a clerk in a London shipping office and in 1906 Janet Ashbee wrote he was "...the proud possessor of a bowler hat, and a dress suit, and a young lady.")

Winston Thorn
Winston Thorn was born in Sussex 1936 and moved to Milngavie Scotland before his fifth birthday. Winston Worked for Glasgow's famous Wood and Selby's department store as their senior designer.
Keswick School of Industrial Art

Canon Rawnsley 1851-1920 Vicar of Crosthwaite, near Keswick and a Canon of Carlisle with his wife Edith founded the Keswick School of Industrial Arts as a metalwork class in 1884 following the teachings of John Ruskin and William Morris. In 1893 a new building housed the school and 5 years later Harold Stabler became a full time teacher, then Herbert Maryon, who had been apprenticed to Ashbee, followed by Robert Hilton. In 1931 they started production in stainless steel for Heals and in the 1950's Leslie Durbin was involved for a short time. Hand finished metal work proved a difficult competitor to machine finished work and the School closed in its centenary year, 1984.

Winifred King

Winifred King and Mildred Murphy traded as W King & Co. - they registeried their mark at the Birmingham Assay Office as craft workers based at The Studio, Old Palace Chambers, Earl Street, Coventry. Unmarked spoons turn up boxed with this printed adddress and their work has been noted between 1924 and 1958. All the girls apprenticed there received a ring on their 21st birthday; Irene Jackson received hers in 1937. Gladys and Charles Mumford also worked there and later moved to Falmouth where they continued working until the 1980's and selling items on the QEII.) One of their patrons was HM Queen Mary.


Christopher Lawrence

Christopher Nigel Lawrence: Born in Cumberland 1936. Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.Moved to Essex where his scout master was Norman Vander who arranged a factory visit. At 13 he decided he wanted to be a silversmith and his father gave him a workshop at the bottom of the garden. At 15 he was an apprenticed to C J Vander as a tray maker and flat hammer man. Studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London. When he was 21 he moved to R E Stone where he worked for 2 years with many fine craftsmen as everything here was hand made and he learnt how to hand raise with the hammer. He later spent 8 years as Gerald Benney's workshop manager before setting up by himself, again in a small garden workshop in the late 1960's. Four months later he opened his own design studio and workshop in Leigh-on Sea and as things improved he employed 9 silversmiths. Following the recession he closed the workshop and spent more time designing and making himself rather than just managing a larger business. He moved to Southend and again had a workshop in his garden. He went on to win 28 prizes in the Goldsmiths' Craft Council competitions and 3 Jacques Cartier Memorial Awards. In 1973 he held a one-man exhibition at Goldsmith's Hall when Graham Hughes said "it was his silver tableware that astonished visitors." During the 1970's he also did some design work for his old employer C J Vander. In the mid 1970's he produced some limited edition pieces for Jean Renet, 1 Old Bond Street, London following a one-man exhibition in 1970. Lives in Essex and is a member of the Institute of Professional Goldsmiths.


Liberty and Co

Liberty and Co. were in partnership with the silversmith W H Haseler producing the 'Cymric' range from 1898 (registered in 1901) using such freelance designers as Archibald Knox, Jessie M King, Bernard Cuzner and Rex Silver.
After the First World War Liberty changed course and the silver range echoed 'Liberty Print' dress fabrics with small flowers giving everything a 'hand-made look'. This silver was still produced by W H Haseler & Co. Ltd. until the partnership was dissolved in 1926


Grant Macdonald

George Grant Macdonald Born London 1947. At 14 Grant Macdonald went to the small jewellery workshop of one of his father's patients and ended up making a small silver spoon and he was hooked. Studied at the Central School and Sir John Cass College until 1969 and then set up a small workshop with Paul Podolsky in Albion Street which gradually expanded. It was here in the early 1970's that he pioneered a process of electro-texturing, a method of electroplating under controlled conditions to produce various types of texture and nodulant surfaces, relating to the form of the underlying metal. As a production decoration it could be used on a wide variety of silver items, from cufflinks to goblets, keeping trade costs attractive to retailers. In 1976 he took over Gerald Benney's Bear Lane workshops when Benney moved out to Berkshire. To keep his large workforce going he first relied on the American market but in 1979 MacDonald received an enquiry from a palace in the Middle East which opened up a whole new market for him. The Gulf States would then become the backbone of his business, making luxurious royal gifts in gold and silver using traditional patterns of a particular country on new designs. By now his Southwark studio workshop had 20 employees combing traditional crafts with new industrial skills. Grant Macdonald had an exhibition in the Silver Gallery at the V & A in 1997 and was elected a member of the Court of Assistants of the Goldsmith's Company in 2000. In 1998 he completed a one and a half ton, eighteen foot high Cross and Orb to go on top of the rebuilt Dresden Cathedral.
His work is also found at 10 Downing Street, Lichfield Cathedral and over 20 City Livery Companies.

David Mellor

David Mellor 1930 - 2009 and trained as a silversmith at Sheffield College of Art, the Royal College of Art and the British School in Rome. In 1952 he visited Scandinavia on a travelling scholarship and designed Pride cutlery while still at college. This was later manufactured by Walker and Hall for whom Mellor became design consultant. In 1954 he set up his first silversmithing business in Sheffield, sharing a workshop with Brian Asquith from 1955 to 1960. He died in 2009.


Hector Miller

Hector Miller: Born in 1945 Attended local art school in Worthing then at Hornsey College of Art where he studied three dimensional design. While at the Royal College of Art (1965-68) under Robert Goodden he won a competition to design and make a pair of ceremonial batons for the Commonwealth Games at Edinburgh. MDes 1971. Joined the Clerkenwell workshop of Stuart Devlin where he was a designer/manager for 3 years - notable commissions he designed at this time and made in the Devlin workshop were a dinner service for the Shah of Iran (1974), a gold cup for the EEC and the York Minister goblet, the first of a long series of commemorative projects for English Cathedrals. He was also responsible for the manufacture of the cruet designed and engraved by Malcolm Appleby for The Silver Trust. Set up his own company in 1974 and in 1975 bought the 62 Rochester Place workshop of Leslie Durbin on his retirement and now employs 15 craftsmen and still works from the same address. Made a Liveryman of the Goldsmith's Company in 1986 and held exhibitions there from 1968. In 1993 was commissioned by the Hall to produce 3 cruets for the top table at Court luncheons in the Hall and 2 salvers for Downing Street. He became a member of the Company's Modern Collection Committee and was elected a member of the Court of Assistants in 2000 in recognition of his service to the craft. He also produced a Freedom Pen Stand for the Hall that was the first piece of silver to be struck with the Millennium hallmark at the London Assay Office.

H G Murphy

Henry George Murphy 1884 -1939 He was apprenticed to Henry Wilson in 1899. By 1906 he was teaching at the Royal College of Art and a few years later at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. 7 July 1912 he started work as foreman for Emil Lettre in Berlin, sharing lodgings with Bernard Instone, but he was very unhappy there and only stayed for 6 weeks. In 1912 he opened his first workshop in London while continuing his association with Wilson and teaching. 1915-19 in the Royal Navy Air Service and in 1928 opened the Falcon Studio, running a large workshop and retail outlet. In 1932 became head of Silversmithing at the Central School and four years later was made Principal. He died in 1939.

Famous Silversmiths

Louis Osman

Louis Osman born in Exeter 1914. Studied drawing at the Slade School of Art and trained at the Bartlett School of Architecture. In 1935 he became a FRIBA and won a scholarship which took him to Syria on a British Museum expedition. During the war he was a major in intelligence and in 1940 married Dilys Roberts who would later become his enamellist. He registered his hallmark in 1957 after his friend Gerald Benney had encouraged him to work in silver and he managed to excel in being a goldsmith and medallist as well as continuing his career as an architect. He designed the treasury to hold silver at Lincoln Cathedral and produced the Welsh gold crown for the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969 and in 1976, the gold, enamelled casket for the Magna Carta, given by the British government to celebrate the Bicentennial, and now in the Capitol at Washington; and a long succession of magnificent, provocative treasures for the collection at Goldsmiths' Hall. In 'Treasures of the 20th Century' he is quoted '"Mass production does not particularly interest me. I feel that what I do should have its roots in the past but should be completely modern and of today." He only ever worked to private commission throughout his entire life, his work being outside current design trends and entirely of his time.' He often used Britannia silver which is more malleable as well as having a richer colour. Peter Musgrove, Andrew Marsden, Michael Knight all worked with him and Wally Gilbert was with him from 1982-8. Osman died in 1996.

William Phipps

William Phipps born 1936 and apprenticed to church silversmith Michael Murray before opening his own workshop in Clerkenwell. He has made a speciality of hand-forged silver, a technique where, using a heavy hammer, the silver is hand-beaten into shape while hot. This traditional skill for producing cutlery is now rare, producing utensils which resonate with their human crafting. As a member of the Association of British Designer-Silversmiths he was asked, with 36 other silversmiths, to make the Millennium Canteen for Sheffield City Council and he produced a fine pair of fish knife and fork. Phipps has taught part-time at the Christopher Wren School and Camberwell College of Art, London and is a member of the Art Worker's Guild. He is a Freeman of both the City of London and the Worshipful Company of Silversmiths and his work can be seen at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Birmingham City Art Gallery; Gateshead Museum; Crafts Council Collection and at Goldsmith's Hall.

Personal statement: "All work is either hand-forged, in the case of cutlery, out of single solid pieces of bar, or else hand raised and planished as in the case of bowls and goblets etc."

William Phipps died in October 2009


Omar Ramsden

Born Sheffield 1873 Omar spent some years in America before being apprenticed to a firm of silversmiths back in Sheffield. In 1890 he attended evening classes at the Sheffield School of Art where he met Alwyn Carr and then both had summer classes at the Royal College of Art. They set up a studio together in Chelsea in 1898 and shortly after moved the workshop to Fulham. Ramsden had the public relations flair while Carr provided the financial backing. The partnership was dissolved in 1919. omar Ramsden died 1939


Sandheim Brothers and Amy Sandheim

Julius Wolfe and his brother Adolph Abraham Sandheim formed a firm in 1875 and in 1908 Adolph entered a hallmark for Sandheim Brothers as gold and silver workers. Julius had been taught by and executed designs for W Augustus Steward, the editor of The Watchmaker, Jeweller and Silversmiths trade Journal and Chief Instructor at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. By 1915 they had a shop at 130 High Street, Notting Hill Gate in West London and the business was carried on by Adolph's daughter Amy Sandheim from the same address who continued producing several of their designs as well as her own.

R E Stone

Robert Edgar Stone: 1903 - 1990. Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. RE Stone often stamped his pieces with a facsimile signature.

After serving an apprenticeship he held all the Goldsmiths Company scholarships whilst at the Central School of Arts & Crafts, London. He founded his own workshop in 1929. He practised at 22 Garrick Street London WC2 where he trained a number of silversmiths such as Ian Calvert and his daughter Jean who worked with him as a jeweller. George Hughes (Goldsmiths Assistant Clerk 1919-39 Clerk 1939-at least 1953) remarked of him "He has been one of the most constant supporters of the silver revival." He produced a large collection of items commemorating George V's Silver Jubilee in 1935 including caddy spoons, book marks, letter openers and 2 handled bowls with a crown coin sunk in the centre. These all featured cast crowns as handles or terminals. He then adapted these designs for the Coronations of Edward VIII in 1936 and George VI in 1937. Asprey and Wilson & Gill retailed many of these, some with an enamel background in the crown. In 1938 he produced a fruit stand for Hamilton & Inches of Edinburgh inspired by Jensen and Johan Rohde. 1946 saw a Peter Pan engraved set for Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co. Ltd. During the 1960's his work was often seen at the Crafts Centre in Hay Hill, London and some of his spoons of this period were made in the Russian style. Christopher Lawrence was among those who worked for him.
He retired to Dumbartonshire in 1964.


Alex Styles

Alex Styles born 1922. He commenced his education with an Arts Scholarship which took him to the Gravesend School of Art which was still influenced by the Guild of Handicraft. His tutor was Reynell Huyshe who had recently been in partnership with George Hart of the Guild of Handicraft at Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire. Huyshe however was more of an academic so had decided to go into teaching and impressed on Styles the nobility of precious metals. (Later students here would include Sidney Sparrow, Norman Bassant and Ian Calvert). Styles won a Higher Exhibition to the Central School of Arts and Crafts where he benefited from the additional technical instruction given in industrial design and met H G Murphy a few times before he died in 1939. He stayed there until he joined the RAF at the end of 1941.
In 1946 he returned to silversmithing and freelance design. A chance meeting with Bertie Pittman of Wakely and Wheeler led to him becoming a staff designer for the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company in 1947 before moving on to Garrard when the two companies amalgamated in 1952. In 1953 he was responsible for a fine bowl with Lion and Unicorn handles to commemorate the Coronation and the following year designed his first mace, for St. Ives Town Council. Over the next few decades he would design numerous pieces of Regalia including Mayoral badges that are still in use all over the world. According to The Times newspaper of 11th April 1966 "…many think he is the finest designer of hand-made silver in England."
In 1969 the people of Caernarvon commissioned a four piece coffee set to be presented to HRH The Prince of Wales on his investiture. Alex Styles remained in constant demand by Livery Companies, Universities, Public Corporations and sponsors wanting sporting trophies. The majority of his designs were for 'one-offs' being made up by Wakely and Wheeler, or Garrard's own manufacturers, Nayler Brothers. He was predominately a designer, like his contemporary and friend Eric Clements, both being designers with the knowledge of craftsmen.
He remained with Garrard's until his retirement in 1987 and the same year saw a major retrospective of his work at Goldsmith's Hall. This publication has a photographic record of many of his commissioned pieces as well as some of the Garrard's stock items.

Hugh Wallis

Hugh Wallis 1871 - 1943 trained in art at Bushey, Herts. Hugh started out as an artist but then took up metalwork. In 1900 he opened a studio in Altrincham and registered his first mark at the Chester Assay Office in 1905. In 1918 he still described himself as an artist (he had exhibited paintings at the Royal Academy) but he also employed five or six employees to make items in copper, pewter or brass with metal inlays and some pieces in silver. Hugh became a leading figure in the Northern Art Workers Guild. and died in 1943.

Graham Watling

Born in North Yorkshire he spent some time as a Commando in the Royal Marines. He then went into teaching and became Head of the Arts and Crafts Department. After 17 years he became a full time gold and silversmith and set up in a National Trust property before moving to a larger workshop and showroom in Lacock, Wiltshire. He had received a BA Hons. in silversmithing from Loughborough University and had his own London hallmark following graduation. His work has been exhibited at the Craft Council in London (1971), the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool and world fairs at Montreal (1969) and Tokyo. His children Jane and John have their own hallmarks and have carried on the tradition. Graham Watling: died 1996.

Robert Welch

Robert Welch 1929.- 2000 Studied under Cyril Shiner and R G Baxendale at Birmingham College of Art from 1950-2 and was a contemporary of Gerald Benney and David Mellor at the Royal College of Art from 1952-5 under Professor Robert Goodden. In 1955 he was asked by J & J Wiggin to be design consultant for their "Old Hall Tableware" where he produced a very successful range in stainless steel and the same year established his own silversmith's workshop in Chipping Camden in the premises previously occupied by Charles Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft. In 1958 he was joined by silversmith John Limbrey who would execute most of Welch's silver designs. Like David Mellor he would extend his designing skills to many other mediums apart from silver and opened two successful retail outlets in Chipping Camden and Warwick. He was made an MBE in 1980 and died in 2000.


The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths

The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths promoted new silversmiths and after the war George Hughes (Assistant Clerk 1919-39 and Clerk from 1939-53) and his son Graham, who was appointed art secretary in 1952, wrote to various bodies in the City and universities suggesting that the time was right for them to commission new work. Both the London County Council and Birmingham Corporation started collections of modern silver at this time and in 1954 the Goldsmiths' Company produced a booklet 'Modern Silver' and a follow up in 1959 'Modern Silver'…. "This book is intended to stimulate interest in modern British silver. Its purpose is to introduce good designers to a wider circle of manufacturers, retailers and members of the public." They also stage exhibitions by contemporary silversmiths.
As well as their work on promotion they also commission pieces for their own collection and as commemorative pieces.
They have a super website at www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk which has extensive information on current silversmiths and publications they have for sale which are interesting reading for anyone interested in the Post-war era.

Malcolm Appleby

Malcolm Appleby Born in West Wickham in 1946. He trained at Beckenham School of Art, Ravensbourne College of Art, Central School of Arts and Crafts, Sir John Cass School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He started his career as an engraver in 1968 developing new techniques for silver engraving and gold fusing onto steel.
Malcolm Appleby is now the foremost gun engraver in the United Kingdom, and his famous Raven Gun is housed in the Royal Armouries. His many commissions include the engraving of the orb on the Prince of Wales Coronet, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes Trophy for De Beers, the 500th anniversary silver cup for the London Assay Office and a major silver cmmn (cup and cover) for the Royal Museum of Scotland. Malcolm Appleby made the seal for the Victoria and Albert Museum and was commissioned to make the silver centrepiece for the New Scottish Parliament.

Malcolm Appleby was a member and past Chairman of the Crathes, Drumoak and Durris Community Council, and is Founder member and Chairman of the British Art Postage Stamp Society, a member of the British Art Medal Society and Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Malcolm Appleby is a Liveryman of the Goldsmiths' Company.

Alexander Brogden

Alexander Brogden Born in Rochford in 1954. He trained at the Middlesex Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art specialising in silverwork and jewellery and in 1986 was awarded the B. Yehia Memorial Prize for Outstanding Metalwork at the Royal College of Art. He has been a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art, Leicester Polytechnic and Camberwell College of Art.
His major works include a rose-water bowl for Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1993), a pair of processional tapers for Lichfield Cathedral (1991), bowls for Bulgari Creazione Inc. (1991), a fluted dish for the Goldsmiths' Company Modern Plate Collection (1990) and centrepieces for David Battie and Sir Anthony Jacobs (1988).

As well as receiving the B. Yehia Memorial Prize, Alexander Brogden has received the Platinum Award for Jewellery Design and received a Royal Society of Arts travel bursary to Egypt. In 1990 he was elected to the Crafts Council Selected Index. Alexander Brogden has also exhibited in London and the Far East.

Clive Burr

Clive Burr Born Nottingham and after graduating with First Class Honours degree from High Wycombe College of Art he attended the Royal College of Art. Following his graduation from there in 1979 he set up a workshop with fellow graduates. By 1990 he had established his own studio and design workshop with a small team of specialists in Clerkenwell, London. He is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.

Although well known for his distinctive clocks Clive Burr and his team practice all aspect of gold and silversmithing. He has been awarded numerous prestigious commissions including presentations for Her Majesty The Queen, the Emir of Kuwait, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Clive Burr and his team have also designed and produced giftware and jewellery for many leding names such as Asprey, Bulgari, Garrard, Ralf Lauren and Burberry.

Kevin Coates

Kevin Coates Born 1950 and from an early age concentrated on both art and music. He became an accomplished instrumentalist giving regular concerts, later with his wife Nel Romano, with whom he formed the Duo Vinaccia in 1974.
His training as a goldsmith began at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and continued at the Royal College of Art. In 1979 he was awarded a doctorate of philosophy for his study of the use of mathematics and sacred geometry in musical instrument design, a work since published by Oxford University Press.

Kevin Coates is a Liveryman of the Goldsmiths' Company and a Fellow of the Royal College of Art.

His jewellery and table-pieces are in private and public collections throughout the world. Notable recent commissions are the Amity Cup for the Goldsmiths' Company, the Carrington Cup for the Victoria and Albert Museum, a large centrepiece for Leeds Castle, a rose-water dish for Lord Nelson of Stafford, a paperweight for the Prince of Wales and the St Chad Cup for Lichfield Cathedral. Exhibitions in the United Kingdom include one-man exhibitions at Goldsmiths' Hall and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Broadcasts have included a "Conversation Piece" (BBC Radio 4) with Sue MacGregor.

Lexi Dick

Lexi Dick Born in London and trained at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design and then at the Royal College of Art under Professor Robert Goodden and Professor Gerald Benney where her discipline was jewellery design.
She is a Liveryman of the Goldsmiths' Company. Her speciality is detailed wax modelling in three dimensions, often of animals. This has led to a number of commissions including a series of camel salts for the Grocers' Company, a bowl for the 1922 Committee to present the Rt. Hon. The Baroness Thatcher to commemorate her ten years as Prime Minister, a large salver representing the six days of the Creation for Lichfield Cathedral and a mint dispenser for the Mercers' Company in the form of a 17th century float drawn by horses and a bowl and goblets for the Ironmongers' Company with flames and salamanders. In 1995 Lexi Dick was commissioned by the Goldsmiths' Company to design and make the Prime Warden's travelling badge.

Lexi Dick has a workshop studio in Shoreditch and produces a range of reasonably priced silver jewellery.

Howard Fenn

Howard Fenn Born 1953 in Conisborough. He was educated at the local comprehensive school before going to Dartington Hall School in Devon which had a crucial and lasting effect on the development of his personality, work and private life.
Howard trained at Sir John Cass School of Art (now part of London Guildhall University) and gained a distinction in the Design and Craftsmanship of Silversmithing where he also won a number of prizes and commissions. After college he worked for the silversmith John Norgate and produced work for the Middle East and regimental silver for the armed forces. In 1979 Howard set up his own workshop in London near Tower Bridge. In 1994 he moved to spacious new premises in what used to be London's old leathermarket, close to London Bridge.

As well as working on one-off and specially commissioned pieces, Howard produces a range of silverware and inlaid hairbrushes which are designed to appeal to both modernists and traditionalists alike. Recently he has also become involved with architectural metalwork, lighting and furniture. He has also worked in collaboration with the London Glassblowing Workshop and with Alec Peevor the stone carver.

Howard exhibits regularly in Britain and Europe and has work in private and public collections. He has guest lectured at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal College of Art and taught design and silversmithing at the London Guildhall University. He is a founder member and past chairman of the Association of British Designer Silversmiths which was set up in 1996 to help promote the very best of Britain's designer silversmiths.












More Silversmiths

Richard Fox was born in 1954 in Wellesbourne, Warwickshire. He first trained at the Hornsey College of Art and then at the Royal College of Art under Professor Gerald Benney. He established his own workshop in London in 1981 to enable him to design and make his own silverware to commission.

Following a commission for the Goldsmiths' Company, Richard Fox was seen by Nicola Bulgari and for several years has designed and manufactured exclusive pieces for the Bulgari shops world-wide. He has also made a number of trophies for motor racing including the Formula One World Championship Drivers' and Constructors' Trophies and World Rally Trophies. The commission of a chalice for Lichfield Cathedral lead to a further commission for a chalice from the Goldsmiths' Company and many commissions from the Archbishop of Canterbury including gifts to commemorate his visits to His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

Richard Fox also held the post of associate lecturer at Middlesex University from 1983-1989 when increased business commitments forced him to relinquish his post. Together with Serena Milton he continues to design and manufacture trophies, tableware, corporate gifts and precious gemset jewellery.