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Lamberts of Coventry Street

The Deputy Master's Badge and Wardens badges were manufactured by Lamberts of Coventry Street.

The original partner was Francis Lambert who was born in 1778, the son of an army accoutrement maker in the Strand and was apprenticed to Wesley a silversmith. Lambert later entered the service of Clark of Exeter Change in the Strand who dealt in cutlery, bronzes, clocks, watches, jewellery and silver goods. While there he met Thomas Hamlet.

Hamlet left Clark in 1797 and set up on his own in St Martin's Court where Lambert joined him although not as a partner. Lambert left on the grounds of ill health and moved to Lisbon where he unsuccessfully set up a bazaar. He returned to England in 1803 where he opened a shop for the sale of jewellery, and also manufactured silver plate at No 11 and 12 Coventry Street. William Roberts who had lived with Hamlet, was taken on as manager shortly after 1819 with a share of the profits and the firm became known as 'Lambert and Rawlings'.

Francis Lambert died in 1841 the business was continued by William Rawlings until his retirement in 1861. After this date the firm was renamed Lambert and Company when the running of the Company fell to Francis Lambert's two sons Francis (junior) and George. In 1851 the Company exhibited an impressive amount of silver at the Great Exhibition. A similar group of items was exhibited at the International Exhibition in 1862. Francis (junior) died in 1856, leaving the running of the Company to his brother George.

The Company minutes of the 19th April 1883, held at the Albion Inn, the Master called the Company's attention to the Company having no badge. At the Court meeting of the 28th February 1884 the proposed design and estimates for the Badge were discussed.

On the 27th October 1892 the Quarterly Court of Assistance (sic) the accounts show that Lambert had been paid £10.16.0d for a past master's badge.

In 1894 The Court resolved that the Upper Warden's badge should be repaired and that safety pins be put on all the badges.

By 1897 the firm is listed as goldsmiths, jewellers, silversmiths, diamond and pearl merchants. George Lambert who had been Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths Company died in 1901. The company was then run by his nephews the sons of Francis (Junior) Herbert Charles Lambert and Ernest Dechemont Lambert died in 1912. The business was closed in 1916 when it was absorbed by Harman & Co Ltd of 177 New Bond Street, under the name of Harman and Lambert where it traded until c.1970.

The Masters Lady's Broach

On his installation as Master of the Bowyer's Company in July 2002 the incoming Master Mr CNG Arding presented a broach to the Company to be worn by the Master's Lady at all formal functions when representing the Company. The ceremony took place during the installation lunch at Leatherseller's Hall and the first recipient was his wife Mary. John Donald of Cheapside designed and made the broach based upon the famous Crown design that he is associated with.

The 1960s heralded a wave of change, a new freedom of spirit, epitomised in contemporary jewellery design by the arrival of a man who was going to revolutionise the traditional image of gold jewellery and pave the way for fluid construction - John Donald - in his converted mews in Bayswater.

With the advent of a more prosperous era his designs were baroque in mood and essentially organics in form. Luxurious gold was twinned with exotic crystal demonstrating two of the most notable trademarks of John Donald's work from this period which remained prevalent to 2005. His predilection for uncut precious stones and natural crystal echoes the striations found in the natural world, came to represent the quintessential John Donald.

Experimenting with molten gold and water, John Donald created a myriad of shapes with which to work. From his initial research came his famous crown design which marked a complete departure from any previous jewellery concept. The stones were set on fine wires, all at different levels within the textured goldwork of the crown.

John Donald combined the visionary aspect of design with meticulous detail and craftsmanship. His ingenious use of gold, silver, pearls, diamonds and other precious stones has gained him international recognition and he has been honoured with the title, Liveryman of the Goldsmith's Company and been granted the de Beers award on a number of occasions.

It is thirty years since John Donald moved his workshop on one of the original goldsmith sights in the shadow of St Paul's Cathedral in Cheapside, he closed operations on this site in March 2005. He continues to work from home creating his unique designs by hand.

Past Master's Badge
- Alfred Sayers Edmunds,
Master 1878-80

Deputy Master's Badge
(formerly Master's Badge)

Warden's Badge

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