St Patrick's Day


With March 17th almost upon us, our London workshop has one thing on the mind - St Patrick, and snakes.

Legend has it that the patron saint of Ireland banished all of the venomous snakes from Ireland, chasing them into the sea after they attacked him during a 40-day fast. Although the veracity of the story has been called into question a few times - in particular by the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, who say, “at no time has there ever been any suggestion of snakes in Ireland, so nothing for St. Patrick to banish” - it’s still a good story. 

That said, we’re not anti-snake here at Grant Macdonald London. In fact, we’re actually somewhat partial to our legless friends. So much so, that when we were given the opportunity to collaborate with TUSK on something special, we sank both fangs into it with enthusiasm.

If you haven’t encountered our Albany letter opener yet, that might be because the South African viper is extremely rare in the wild. The Albany viper is highly endangered, only thriving in certain habitats, where it’s been driven to the brink of extinction as a result of the destruction of the areas they’re able to call home. It turns out you don’t need to be a saint to drive snakes away. All you need to do the job is opencast mining, wind turbines and road developments. 

With the support of TUSK, however, the future of one of the world’s rarest snakes is being taken into consideration, with an urgent search for remaining populations, and stewardship agreements being struck between South African conservation authorities and landowners. To help in their efforts, our team of craftsmen have conjured up something beautiful.

Our Albany letter opener captures the beauty of the highly endangered Albany viper, using cutting edge technology to create a cutting edge that will look extremely handsome on your desk. Each letter opener has been hall marked with the London Assay Office mark, and will be presented to you in a beautiful gift box.

Take your pick between sterling silver, sterling silver with 24ct gold plate and sterling silver with black patination, to ensure your letter opener is just as rare as the dwarf adder that inspired it.


Celebrate St Patrick’s Day this year with a donation to TUSK - 20% from the sale of each piece from our TUSK collection will be donated to support vitally important conservation work in Africa.

Share this post