Charlotte Metcalf is the Editor of Great British Brands and the co-presenter of Break Out Culture, a weekly podcast with former Minister of Culture, Lord Vaizey. She is also a film-maker, author and journalist. Every week she’ll be reporting on cultural events, exhibitions, fairs and publications that are of interest to the communities of craftsmen we represent and celebrate, with a particular focus on goldsmiths and silversmiths.
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The Goldsmiths’ Company Celebrate 40 Years of the Goldsmiths’ Fair
Welcome to our first Culture Round-Up and I’m delighted to be bringing you weekly news of interesting events and exhibitions around the country that support and demonstrate the finest aspects of Thomas Lyte’s craft.
This weekend do not miss the final weekend of the annual Goldsmiths Fair. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Fair is exhibiting the final piece of jewellery ever given to the late Queen and worn at her Platinum Jubilee. This circular brooch designed by David Marshall, is made of 18-carat white gold and platinum and incorporates 97 round-cut diamonds and seven fancy-cut ones, each one representing a decade of her reign. A gift from The Goldsmiths’ Company, the brooch also represents the four nations and includes Lily of the Valley, one of her favourite flowers, which featured in her Coronation bouquet.
The magnificent Goldsmiths Hall is rarely open to the public but welcomes visitors for two weeks of the year. This year it’s showcasing the work of 136 silver and goldsmiths working in the UK, including ten recent graduates, whom the fair supports. The graduates come from all over the country, from Glasgow to Somerset, and the fair supports them by providing cost-free stands, an interest-free silver bullion and guidance on selling.
You’ll also be able to see the work of well-established jewellers, like Romilly Saumarez Smith, known for repurposing medieval thimbles foraged materials like sea urchin spines or ammonites, then combining them with precious jewels and metals to create exquisite tiny sculptures that imitate nature.