British Post War Jewellery Designers - Illustrated Guide

02/05/2021 98 0 0

 

Interested in British modernist jewellery design? Check out our
illustrated guide to British Post War Jewellery Designers including 
designer history , concepts, and beautiful examples of work.

 

1) ANTHONY HAWKSLEY


Anthony Hawksley (1921-91) studied at the Maidstone School of Art, before later training as
a silversmith at the Royal College of Art, London. He became know for his modern crisp designs
and was inspired by the work of Georg Jensen, the renowned Danish silverware designer.  In 1951
he exhibited his work at the Festival of Britain for Goldsmiths' Hall. In 1952 he began teaching
silversmithing and also lecturing in both Oxford and Birmingham. Payne and Son's in Oxford started
selling his jewellery and silverware, and his pieces were commissioned for private collections as well
as the Oxford colleges. In 1981 his work was exhibited in Boston at the Westminster Gallery. 
His jewellery
designs were modernist, and sculptural nature. The London Victoria and Albert museum
have a silver collar necklace he made in the 1960's. He lived in several places including North Oxford
and Devon, and had a workshop at his home until his death in 1991.



Anthony Hawksley necklace suite     Hawksley necklace and earrings late 1950's    Hawksley London 1955 necklace suite
Anthony Hawksley necklace suite         Hawksley silver necklace &    Hawksley silver necklace suite
design no 1860                                      earrings -late 1950's               hallmarks London 1955

 

2) MICHAEL BOLTON
 

Michael Bolton was born in 1938 in West London. After the war started in 1939, the family
moved to Kent where he spent his childhood. He began his career in commerce working
for a shipping company and American Express .In 1970, after taking inspiration from an exhibition
of Gerda Flockinger's work at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London he decided to change
direction and became a self taught silversmith.  Within 5 years he had mastered silversmithing.
His natural talent for design meant that he had soon registered his makers mark at Goldsmiths Hall
and was producing jewellery and silverware. His distinctive style was influenced by the Arts and Crafts
Movement,
and Celtic and medieval heritage. His pieces were superbly made , often  chunky with a
hammered type finish. 
He worked to commission using young assistants an designers at his workshop
in Cornwall, and received many commission from private individuals, 
companies, corporations,
and institutions. His clients included Julie Andrews, Glenda Jackson, and Lord Palumbo.
 
In 2003 he was part of the 'Love Story' exhibition in the Goldsmith's Hall making
jewellery and a collar for Tony Foard's model of a bride.


Michael Bolton 1970 aquamarine silver ring  Michael Bolton 1970s silver bangle ring and cufflinks  MIchael Bolton "beetle" ring 1983
Michael Bolton 1970                     Michael Bolton 1970's silver        Michael Bolton 1983 silver
aquamarine silver ring                  bangle, ring, and cuff links.         "beetle" ring

 

3) GRAHAM WATLING


Born in 1930 in North Yorkshire, Graham Watling started his career as a Commando in the Royal
Marines. He then worked as teacher employed as Head of the Arts and Crafts Department.
After 17 years in teaching he decided to become a full time gold and silversmith. He trained at 
Loughborough University where he gained a BA Hons in silversmithing. He then registered with the 
Assay Office in London obtaining his own hallmark shortly after graduation. H
is workshop and
showroom in Lacock, Wiltshire named 
Watling, was established  in 1972.  His work featuring his
distinctive modernist style was exhibited at the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, the Craft Council in
London (1971), and at world fairs in Tokyo and Montreal (1969). His children Jane and John
Watling each have their own hallmarks and have carried on the silversmithing tradition. By the
time Graham died in 1996 his business had become established as one one of the foremost
Gold and Silversmiths in England

Graham Watling pendant  Graham watling necklace and earrings  Jane Watling Birds Nest necklace
Graham Watling pendant             Graham Watling necklace and     
Jane Watling bird's nest necklace
                                                         earrings set    

4)  GEOFFREY BELLAMY
 

Geoffrey Bellamy (1922-1997) joined the RAF when he was 18 in 1940. He flew 112 missions in
 World war 11 and was awarded the Flying Cross and Bar medal for exemplary gallantry.  After the war
he studied at the Birmingham College of Art,before training at the Royal College of Art in London, under

Robert Goodden. After graduation he set up his workshop in West London. He was influenced by the
Scandinavian design ethos, as were many of his fellow students at the time. He made mostly small items
including
brooches for retail firms such as George Tarratt. He went on to form a silver production company
with
 Ivan Tarratt named Bellamy & Tarratt . He became the recipient of a Design Centre award in 1961,
and in 1965 joined the Council of Industrial Design. His enjoyment of teaching saw him return to education
at the Sheffield College of Art becoming Head of Silversmithing.

Geoffrey Bellamy silver lotus brooch   Geoffrey Bellamy silver link necklace 1966   Geoffrey Bellamy silver gazelle brooch

Geoffrey Bellamy silver lotus           Geoffrey Bellamy Ivan Tarrat      Geoffrey Bellamy silver 
brooch                                               silver link necklace 1966            gazelle brooch 1956
 

5)  WENDY RAMSHAW


Wendy Ramshaw was born in Sunderland in 1939. She studied illustration and fabric design at the
College of Art and Industrial Design in Newcastle from 1956 to 1960 , before undertaking a teaching
diploma at Reading University. She first gained acclaim for her work in 1970 after exhibiting her
jewellery at the
Pace Gallery in London. She displayed several sets of complementary gold rings,
some with semi precious stones. When the rings were displayed on a support they appeared as a
unified sculptural object. She went on to design jewellery  that pushed the boundaries of sculpture,
jewellery, installation and design. She worked in various materials that ranged from paper, plastic,
and glass to porcelain and semi precious stones. After being the recipient of a  Design Council award
in 1972 she mounted a further solo exhibition at the Electrum Gallery in London. She collaborated
several time with her husband David Watkins, a musician and artist who she had married in 1962. In
the mid eighties she produced
Picasso's Ladies, a series of necklaces, earrings, headpieces, and
rings, inspired by the women Picasso painted. This work was displayed at the V and A Museum,
London, in 1998, and then at the American 
Craft Museum in 1999. Wendy was appointed a Royal
Designer for Industry in 2000 and in 2003 she was awarded a CBE.

Wendy Ramshaw necklace 1972 gold and gemstone    Wendy Ramshaw stacking ring set   Wendy Ramshaw enamel pendulum necklace 1973
Wendy Ramshaw necklace 1972  Wendy Ramshaw stacking ring set   Wendy Ramshaw enamel 
gold and gemstone                                                                                  pendulum necklace 1973

 

6)  JACK SPENCER

 

Jack Spencer was born in Sheffield in 1934. After his eleven plus exam he was awarded a
scholarship to the Junior department at The College of Art in Sheffield, and was undertaking
vocational silversmith training from the age of eleven. At age 15 he began as an apprentice
with the firm Walker and Hall and also  spent 2 years in th RAF undertaking national service.
He went on to work for David Mellor, the Sheffield born Industrial designer in his Park Lane 
workshop. In 1966 he formed a creative partnership with Keith Tyssen, another Sheffield craftsman
producing flatware and cutlery designs. Spencer went on to form his own business in 1966, named

Jack Spencer (Silversmith) Ltd, producing beautiful jewellery. His design ethos was to produce
handmade high quality items at prices the average shopper could afford. 
Most of the jewellery he
made was handmade from just two different gauges and widths of silver and gold wire. 

Jack Spencer 1973 ribbon pendant    Jack Kelly 9 carat gold limited edition brooch    Jack Spencer silver pendant
Jack Spencer 1973 ribbon pendant  Jack Spencer 9 carat gold brooch     Jack Spencer silver pendant

(Image courtesy of
johnkelly1800.co.uk)


7)  ANDREW GRIMA

Andrew Grima (1921-2007) was an Anglo-Italian designer who became a very influential figure in modern
British post war jewellery design. In 1946,
he joined the H.J.Company, his father in law's jewellery firm.
Self taught he soon introduced innovative new ideas and techniques, changing the design emphasis from

figurative, to organic and abstract designs. By the 1960's he had become the foremost British modernist
jewellery designer , 
and the Royal and Society jeweller of the era. He sold his jewellery from his exclusive
gallery in 
 Mayfair  which featured the world's first perspex spiral staircase. His striking designs combined
yellow gold mounts with a variety of large gemstones. His designs appeared simple and effortless but
required enormous skill to create. He employed around 30 craftsmen and woman in his workshop training
them 
in his design methods. Each piece was carefully set, hand engraved, and finished to an exceedingly high
standard. His clients included members of the British Royal family, as well as 
Barbara Hepworth, Jacqueline
Onassis, and Peter Sellers. 
Famous pieces he created were Queen Elizabeth's ruby brooch, and a lichen 
brooch made in gold for Princess Margaret. In 1966 he was given the Royal Warrant of Queen Elizabeth 11
 producing jewels for the Queen to present as gifts to foreign dignitaries.  He won numerous awards including
the De Beers Diamonds (International) 
award 11 times , and was the only jeweller to have won the Duke of
Edinburgh award for Elegant Design. Andrew Grima jewellery is 
still much sought after and highly collectable,
and the 
Grima jewellery brand continues to flourish to this day.

Andrew Grima gemstone brooch 1963    Andrew Grima ring gold and gemstone   Andrew Grima gold diamond gemstone bracelet 1973
Andrew Grima gemstone brooch       Andrew Grima gold                    Andrew Grima gold, diamond. and
1963                                                      gemstone ring                          gemstone bracelet 1973

 

8)  JOHN DONALD

John Donald  (1928 -) is a British jeweller, goldsmith, and designer, known for his pioneering design and
craftsmanship. Born in 1928 he studied graphic design at Farnham before being offered the chance to study
at the metalwork department of the Royal College of Art, London, in 1952 where he found an affinity for
metalwork.Several years later he entered 5 pieces in the International Exhibition of Modern Jewellery
1890-1961
 held at the Goldsmiths Hall .
In the early 1960's he was part of a small group who revolutionised
jewellery design. 
His glamorous and modern designs were  radical, innovative and respected by art critics.
He used  simple materials such as uncut crystal and  gold rod creating abstract, expressive jewellery pieces. 

He went on to establish a  successful company with an international reputation .His work can be see in the
V&A Museum collections,  The Royal Museum in Edinburgh, 
the Schmuckmuseum in Pforzheim, and The
Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. His clientele has been varied with pieces owned by heads of industry,
heads of state and various Royal Families.

John Donald opal and diamond brooch 1973   John Donald diamond and ruby gold pendant 1976    John Donald 9 carat gold bracelet and diamond brooch 1973
John Donald opal and diamond   John Donald diamond and ruby      John Donald 9 carat gold bracelet
brooch 1973                                 pendant  1976                                   and diamond brooch 1973                          



9)  MALCOLM APPLEBY

Malcolm Appleby was born in Kent in 1946. He studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, Sir
John Cass, and the London Royal 
College of Art . He worked as an apprentice for John Wilkes in
London where he established his skills with intricate metal engraving as a gun engraver. He moved
to Scotland in 1970, where he set up his own studio and developed new techniques for engraving.
A metal engraver and silversmith known forhis expressive use of line and form, he is considered one
of the finest craftsmen working today. His work can be found in many major museums around the world.
 
Malcom Appleby wren and ivy bangle   Malcom Appleby silver and gilt earrings   Malcom Appleby engraved silver ice brooch
Malcom Appleby wren and ivy     Malcom Appleby silver and gilt       Malcom Appleby engraved silver 

silver bangle                                 gilt earrings                                     silver Ice brooch


10)  NORMAN GRANT

Norman Grant was born in Forres, Scotland in 1943 . He studied at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen
in the 1960's 
and in the late 1960s started to design jewellery. His favourite medium was translucent
enamel combined with sterling silver. The relatively low cost of materials enabled him to keep the cost
of his jewellery to a reasonable price, and allowed him to be experiment with design. After showing
his work to local jewellers he was suprised to find that his jewellery had all sold in one morning. From
the start Grant found himself working full time to complete orders, and within a year had a successful
jewellery business. The bright colours and
pop art patterns reflected the style and fashion of the era.
Grant himself said that he was influenced by the natural forms and coastland landscape of his home.
His early designs featured plant cell structures, petals, trees, shells, driftwood, and seaweed. Further
reading on
Norman Grant can be found here.


Norma Grant silver and enamel brooch 1970's     Norman Grant bracelet "bubbles"   Norman Grant enamel silver pendant 1970's
Norman Grant silver and enamel    Norman Grant "bubbles" bracelet  Norman Grant 1970's pendant
brooch 1970's


11) GERDA FLOCKINGER

Born in Austria in 1972, Gerda emigrated to Britain in 1938. She studied fine art at St Martin's School
of Art, and jewellery and enamels at the London Central School of Arts and Crafts. Gerda went on to 
become an iconic modernist jewellery designer of the British post war era. In 1962 she founded a new
course in experimental jewellery design at the Hornsey School of Art. By the mid 1960's Flockinger had 
developed a unique, and pioneering  style of her own. She used jewellery as an art form breaking away
from traditional structure and concepts . She created new techniques which included controlled fusion of
precious metals to create broken surfaces, fine textures and organic lines. Her jewellery displayed
elements of abstract forms, Eastern , and Art Nouveau influences.
 Her work has feature extensively in
many museums and institutions worldwide including the V and A  
Museum, London, and the Pforzheim
Museum of Fine Art, Germany. Flockinger was made a "Freeman of the Goldsmiths' company in 1991,
and in 1998 was awarded a CBE for her contributions to jewellery design and making.

Gerda Flockinger 1960's pearl gold ring   Gerda Flockinger pearl and gemstone necklace   Gerda Flockinger opal dress ring

1960's Gerda Flockinger                 Gerda Flockinger 1977 pearl            Gerda Flockinger opal
pearl gold ring                                 and gemstone necklace                     dress ring     

 

12)  THOMAS PAYNE

Thomas Payne (1935 - ) was a talented artist winning a scholarship to the London Royal College Art. 
However, he chose instead to return the Midlands studying Industrial Design at the Leicester College of 
Art.  In 1963, Tom (along with Andrew Grima, John Donald, and David Thomas)  was one of only four
British jewellers selected to showcase their work in the United States. On returning to the UK Thomas
partnered with his college friend Peter Trigg to produce studio pieces for particular clients. Their business
was named 
"Hephaestus" after the Greek God of blacksmiths. Often the pieces they produced contained
both their registered hallmarks , "T.A.P" and "C.P.T", both in elongated ovals. After Peter Trigg retired in
the eighties Tom went on to open his own shop in Hinkley Leicestershire, where he produced high quality
uniquepieces of jewellery. His work and those produced by "Hephaestus" remain much sought after by
collectors today.
Thomas Payne and Peter Trigg gemstone brooch    Thomas Payne Peter Trigg tourmaline and diamond brooch      Thomas Payne Peter Trigg iron pyrite and silver pendant 1970

Thomas Payne and Peter Trigg     Thomas Payne and Peter Trigg    Thomas Payne and Peter Trigg iron
gemstone brooch 1970                   tourmaline and diamond ring        pyrite silver pendant 1970 (image

                                                                                                                             (courtesy of ​johnkelly1800.co.uk)


13)  ERNEST BLYTH


Ernest Blyth was a talented British jewellery designer. He was influenced by the sleek modernist
designs of Georg Jensen, and in particular the designs of Henning Koppel , who worked for Jensen.
 In the 1960's, Blyth created a modernist range of brooches for Leicester jewellers Ivan Tarrat. Ivan
Tarratt  (whose company had been established by his father George Tarrat in 1913), worked with the
top designers of the time ( including Blyth, Geoffrey Bellamy and Tonie Taylor), to  create an in house
jewellery collection. The Tarrat company gained a reputation for quality silverware producing their
collection from the 1960's into the 1980's.


Ernest Blyth for Ivan Tarrat silver abstract brooch   Ernest Blyth for Ivan Tarrat 9 carat gold brooch   Ernest Blyth silver ring
Ernest Blyth for Ivan Tarrat silver   Rare Ernest Blyth for Ivan Tarrat      Ernest Blyth silver ring
abstract brooch                              9 carat gold brooch



14) STUART DEVLIN

Although Stuart Devlin (1931-2018) was a native Australian born in Geelong, Australia, he went on to
become a very important figure in British post war modernist jewellery design, living and working in the
UK for the majority of his career. After high school, he obtained a position at  Melbourne Art College
where he studied for a Diploma in gold and silversmithing. In 1958 he was awarded a scholarship to
train at the Royal College of Art in London. After excelling at college he was awarded a fellowship and
spent 2 years at Columbia University in New York before he returned to Australia to teach. Then in 1965
he moved to London where he opened a small workshop. He  began designing jewellery in 1967, and
became well know in the West End of London through the late 1960's and 1970's. Between 1979 and
1985 he produced a new collection every year from his showroom in Conduit Street. He specialized in
limited editions where he devised and adapted new techniques to produce a variety of detailed filigree
forms and textures.  I
n 1982, Devlin was granted the Royal Warrant of Appointment as Goldsmith and
Jeweller to Her Majesty the Queen
.  Devlin also worked with the Goldsmith's Company and was involved
in 
creating a new institute for future goldsmiths, and other opportunities for young jewellers and goldsmiths.
He retired to West Sussex in 2014 and died in 2018.


stuart devlin aqua gold brooch  1978 Stuart Devlin London 1978   gold and aquamarine ring Stuart Devlin
Aquamarine and gold brooch         Stuart Devlin 1978                        Gold and aquamarine ring
 by Stuart Devlin                             London necklace                          Stuart Devlin                                   
                                                                                                                      

15) GILLIAN PACKARD

 

Gillian Packard, (1938-) became one of the leading  British jewellery designers of the 1960's. Born in
Newcastle upon Tyne, she undertook studies at Kingston School of Art, the Central School. and the 
Royal College of Art,London. She entered competitions soon after graduating and won several
awards. She received particular acclaim for her diamond and gemstone rings. Her innovative designs
were seen as particularly ground breaking for the time. She was well know for her elegant rings, and 
went on to create more organic jewellery pieces. She set up a workshop in the West End of London
in 1964 and 
acquired a loyal customer base . Although she employed six people she continued to
design all the jewellery herself , producing jewellery for over 60 stores in England. One of her
particularly innovative designs was an interlocking wedding and engagement ring. She developed
new ways of setting stones and was very specific about the colour and quality of stones used. In 1969
Packard became chairman of the British faction of the World Council for Applied Arts, and she also
taught at the London Central School of Fine Arts. Two of her designs can be found at the V and A
Museum in London. Her work remains much prized by collectors today.


18 carat gold green tourmaline ring Gillian Packard   18 Carat gold diamond brooch Gillian Packard   Gillian Packard bangle and brooch 1973
Gillian Packard 18 carat gold         18 carat gold diamond brooch    &nb