About Silversmiths Garrard & Co
The luxury brand Garrard & Co. Limited, formerly Asprey & Garrard Ltd., is headquartered at Albemarle Street in Mayfair, London. Garrard was the first official Crown Jeweller charged with the upkeep of the British Crown Jewels, from 1843 to 2007. Garrard & Co. created and cared for many tiaras and jewels adorning members of the British royal family we see today. Some of the world’s most famous sporting trophies were created by Garrard’s team of superb jewellers. These include the Americas Cup and the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy.
GARRARD & CO HEADQUARTERS ALBEMARLE STREET MAYFAIR
The company that was to become Garrard was founded by George Wickes (1689-1761). He entered his mark in the Goldsmiths' Hall in 1722. In the same year he set up business in Threadneedle Street, London. In 1735 the company moved to Panton Street, London. It was listed as a goldsmith and supplier of jewellery and luxurious curios to royalty and the nobility.
George Wickes was a very accomplished silversmith. He became famous for his elaborate work in the rococo style. His superb skill and attention to detail gained him the patronage of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Just prior to Wickes’ retirement his two apprentices, John Parker and Edward Wakelin purchased the company (1760).
In 1776 John Wakelin and William Taylor are said to have replaced John Parker & Edward Wakelin. They both steered the business to newer heights until the death of Taylor. In 1792 Robert Garrard became a partner in the business. By 1802 Garrard was in control of the company. His sons Robert Garrard II, James and Sebastian all followed in their father’s footsteps becoming vital members of the team. The registered names of this enterprise changed to reflect their involvement. The company traded as R., J., & S. Garrard or Robert Garrard & Brothers until James' retirement in 1835.
THE ORIENTAL CIRCLET
In 1834 HM Queen Victoria appointed Garrard to the position of Crown Jewellers. For more than 160 years Garrard & Co held this responsibility.
HRH Prince Albert oversaw the design & creation of the tiara above. The Oriental Circlet c.1853 was one of many Garrard & Co. royal commissions.
HM QUEEN VICTORIA WEARING THE ORIENTAL CIRCLET
This portrait above shows HM Queen Victoria in 1870 wearing the small diamond crown which was especially made by Garrards for HM Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
The company name of Garrard & Company Ltd was registered in 1909. In 1911 the company relocated to the highly prestigious location of Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London.
Garrard & Co have dealt with many famous jewels. For example the Cullinan diamonds. The firm also created such pieces as the Imperial Crown of India.
IMPERIAL CROWN OF INDIA
1851 GARRARD & CO DRAWING FOR THE KOH-I-NOOR DIAMOND
© Garrard & Co
CROWN MADE FOR QUEEN ELIZABETH CONSORT OF KING GEORGE VI
Garrard & Co crafted HM Queen Elizabeth’s Crown in 1937. HM Queen Elizabeth was consort of HM King George VI. HM Queen Elizabeth wore the crown without its arches at the State Openings of Parliament also during the reign of HM King George VI and in 1953 when her daughter, HRH Princess Elizabeth, was crowned HM Queen Elizabeth II.
The centrepiece is the legendary Koh-i-Noor diamond which is set in a removable platinum mount. The stone is said to have been given this name by the conquering Persian Nadir Shah who was the Shah of Iran from 1736 to 1747. When he first set eyes on this treasure he exclaimed “Koh-i-Noor!”, or “Mountain of Light”. This diamond is also known as the Koh-i-nûr. This magnificent diamond was a gift from Sultan Abdul Medjid to HM Queen Victoria in 1856 as a gesture of gratitude for British support during the Crimean War.
The stone is said to bring bad luck to men and so since its arrival in Great Britain it is only worn by women.
Many claims for this stone to be returned have been made by India, Pakistan and Iran. Although the ancient rulers of Afghanistan once owned the Koh-i-Nor they have not requested for its return. For 213 years this treasure was owned by the Moguls. For over sixty years the Afghans kept the Koh-i-Noor at locations in Kabul and Kandahar. This superb diamond was in Sikh possession for 36 years.
PRINCESS OF WALES GARRARD SAPPHIRE & DIAMOND CLUSTER RING
In more recent history the HRH Prince of Wales presented Lady Diana Spencer with a Garrard creation. This now iconic sapphire and diamond cluster ring became the engagement ring HRH Prince William chose for his bride to be, Catherine Middleton. HRH Prince William stated that wished his mother to be involved in the ceremony. The classic combination of a Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds will always be a reminder of the late Princess of Wales.
The image shows the ring on the hand of Catherine Middleton, now HRH Catherine Princess of Wales.
Splendid Garrard & Co. creations continued to be crafted throughout the 20th century.
The vanities shown below are Garrard & Co. luxury accessories.
A rare and fabulous Garrard & Co fully hallmarked sterling silver and guilloche enamel pressed and loose foundation makeup compact. This divine mid-century vanity was crafted by one of the most prestigious British jewellers in 1963. For more than 160 years Garrard & Co proudly carried the responsibility of being the official Crown Jeweller. The lid is decorated with white guilloche enamel adorned with the most enchanting spray of vivid red carnations and two tone foliage. The powder well is fully hallmarked and also signed GARRARD & CO LTD 112 REGENT ST W.
An exceptionally rare Garrard & Co fully hallmarked sterling silver and guilloche enamel powder compact. This divine mid-century vanity was crafted by one of the most prestigious British jewellers in 1959.
You can find out more on the history behind this iconic silversmith in our bespoke fact packs that come with every order