Bernard Instone Jewellery

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Bernard Instone was born  in 1891 at "Neston Villa" in Kings Norton, Birmingham. In 1903 at the age of 12 he received a scholarship to attend the Central School of Art. His talent shone through and he received two further scholarships to continue his training. He studied  jewellery and practical silversmithing at the Birmingham School of Jewellery in Vittoria Street from 1904 until 1912 where he excelled. While at the school he studied under the famous Arts and Crafts jeweller Arthur Gaskin.

After leaving Art School Instone began working at the studio of John Paul Cooper. He was then selected by Emil Lettre, the Berlin Court goldsmith to go to Berlin to further his training in the workshops at Unter-den-Linden. During his time there he produced a beautiful amethyst brooch for the King of Bavaria. His brother Lewis was already employed there as a silversmith, however he tragically died in a diving accident during a day out to Zernsdorf with his family.


At the age of 22 Bernard Instone returned home and began working at the Birmingham School of Jewellery. His role was to assist with the manual training in classes, however, he also produced his own jewellery. It was at this point in his working life that he began to undertake jewellery commissions.

Instone - Silver and Amethyst brooch        Instone - silver and blue enamel brooch       Instone - enamel brooch circa 1930


In 1920 he set up his own business forming Langstone Silverworks in Digbeth, Birmingham. The name of the firm was a combination of his mother and father's names. He produced a large amount of jewellery with nature providing much of his jewellery design inspiration. His pieces were often characterised by leaves, flowers, different coloured enamels, and semi precious stones. While creating his own jewellery, he also designed for other jewellers including Sibyl Dunlop.

Below: Bernard instone vintage silver necklace and bracelet set and carnelian and silver brooch. All from
the vintage jewellery collection at Modern Vintage Style


Instone played a big part in Local Trade Associations. In 1937, he became president of the Birmingham Jewellers' Association, and organised several trade exhibitions for them. 

Having married Barbara Margett in 1922, the couple went on to have two sons and a daughter. Both sons eventually joined the Langstone firm, one as a manager and the other as a salesman. Instone also acquired two shops in the West Country, one in Salcombe, Devon, and the other in Looe, Cornwall. Both shops sold jewellery and paintings.

In 1963 he handed over control of the business to one of his sons and spent the rest of his life in the Cotswolds with his wife Barbara. He died in 1987 of Bronchopneumonia. Today the work of Bernard Instone is much sought after among collectors, due to the high quality workmanship, detail, and beauty of his jewellery

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