TUSK Q&A with George Macdonald, Grant Macdonald London

Grant Macdonald London are proud to support the work of the charity TUSK. ‘Ruaha’, our handcrafted silver lion measuring 51cm long will be auctioned at the TUSK ball at Kensington Palace on 9th May.  Retailing at circa £50,000, we are delighted to donate this work of art to TUSK.  

How did you first become involved in TUSK?

I have admired the work of Tusk for many years and because of their connections to craftsmanship and the arts, it made perfect sense to work on a partnership with the charity. Silver sculptures of elephants, lions, rhinos etc are nothing new, a lot of silversmiths produce models like this but don’t necessarily support the work of wildlife charities, such as Tusk, to help protect these amazing animals.

My father Grant and I loved the idea of offering affordable, detailed, collectable silver models of African wildlife to raise both awareness and funds to help protect these incredible animals. Having been awarded a Royal Warrant of HRH The Prince of Wales, our views on sustainability and our carbon footprint have been at the forefront of our minds.

We feel that it is our duty not only to constantly look at keeping our manufacturing business environmentally, economically and socially sustainable, but also to give back and help conserve the world’s precious wildlife.

Tell us about the ‘Ruaha’ lion which is going to be auctioned at the TUSK ball?

To celebrate TUSK’s year of the lion, Grant and myself wanted to create a Lion masterpiece to celebrate this magnificent creature.

We decided on a walking sterling silver lion on a gold-plated silver and wooden base. We used a mixture of technology (3D printing) and traditional silversmithing skills (soldering and hand-chasing) to create this life like 1:4 scale model. Dan Bucknell, executive director at Tusk and his team decided that the funds raised from the sale of this silver Lion should go directly to the charity’s work in the Ruaha National Park in Tanzania.

The lion was named ‘Ruaha’ after Tusks ‘Ruaha Carnivore Project’ which is in much need of funds to help the declining lion numbers in the area. We have been told that Lions may now number as few as twenty thousand in the wild, and that is not just down to poaching, but also lack of education in villages local to lion populations. We were excited and inspired by the prospect that the sale of ‘Ruaha’ could help lion conservation in that area particularly.

We have been told that funds raised from the auction will go towards the salaries of core Staff members who conduct research, construct shelters to protect livestock at night, manage community benefits and arrange educational visits to the park. As well as this, the money will help fund radio satellite collars for monitoring and protecting lions in the wild.

 What other works have you created for TUSK?

Our team has designed and created a unique collection of miniature and medium-sized, sterling silver, hand crafted lions, rhinos and elephants.

These silver models are both highly collectable and very detailed. As well as this, we have created a collection of sterling silver TUSK cufflinks, featuring the faces of the black rhino, elephant and lion. We hope that by adding these more affordable pieces to the collection, we can raise even more funds for the charity work of Tusk.

With the Duke of Cambridge as Patron, TUSK supports wildlife conservation efforts across Africa and have helped protect more than 40 threatened species and 10 million acres of land. All the proceeds from the sale of Ruaha will be donated to TUSK while 20% from every silver miniature and pair of animal cufflinks in Grant Macdonald’s wider TUSK collection will also go to the charity.If you are not attending the auction but would like to register your interest in Ruaha please contact Alison McInnes, alison@grantmacdonald.com  +44 (0)20 7803 0464 who will put you in touch with a TUSK representative.

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