“To be a silversmith I think one must have a certain ‘slightly round the bend’ attitude to design, and to making things… I have always believed in the amazing qualities of British craftsmanship and have sought to tell the world about it in my small way.” Grant Macdonald
In the time before the 14th century, creativity was considered a gift from the gods. Plato used ‘divine madness’ to explore his belief that the gods used human bodies to express themselves through creation. To be granted an idea by a higher power meant you’d been given a responsibility to put something beautiful - or interesting - out into the world. Around the time of the renaissance, this definition of creativity began to shift, as artists like Da Vinci started crediting themselves for their work - ‘this is an expression of my creativity.’
Around this time, something interesting happened in the industry of goldsmiths - in 1327, the Goldsmiths’ Company received its first royal charter as one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London. Goldsmithing was nothing new. Gold and silver, and the ability to work them into coins and other valuable items, have always been at the heart of civilisation, and having a licence to do so was important - in the 1179-80 Pipe Roll entry, a ‘gild of Goldsmiths of which Ralph Flael is alderman’ lists a total of eighteen guilds who had been fined by the King for operating without a licence. Creativity was valued, but not without limitations.
In 1300, King Edward I established a stricter set of rules to bind goldsmiths - gold and silver would need to be of a defined standard, requiring a group of Guardians of the Craft to test it and mark it with a leopard’s head, taken from the royal arms. This was the beginning of hallmarking in Britain.
We have established our workshop in the heart of London, just beyond the boundaries of the City, because we’ve always been inspired and awed by the rich heritage of goldsmithing associated with British craftsmanship, and London in particular. Where else in the world would we be able to produce the finest objet d’art in the city where the traditional techniques we used were created, refined and shared with apprentices?
National Creativity Day is coming up on May 30th, inviting people across the country to celebrate the imaginative spirit, and find ways to explore their creative side. We’re lucky enough to do precisely that, every day, in our London workshop as our craftsmen work tirelessly to realise your ideas in the finest materials.
Explore the breadth of our creativity by visiting our website and taking a journey through our archives, where you’ll see commissions and collections brimming with a commitment to outstanding quality and service that is second to none.