Garrard & Co
|Privately held company|
|Fate||demerged from Asprey (2002)|
|Predecessor||Asprey & Garrard Limited|
Garrard & Co. Limited, formerly Asprey & Garrard Limited, designs and manufactures luxury jewellery and silver. George Wickes founded Garrard in London in 1735 and the brand is headquartered at Albemarle Street in Mayfair, London. Garrard also has a presence in a number of other locations globally. Garrard was the first official Crown Jeweller of the UK, charged with the upkeep of the British Crown Jewels, from 1843 to 2007, and was responsible for the creation of many tiaras and jewels still worn by the British royal family today. As well as jewellery, Garrard is known for having created some of the world's most illustrious sporting trophies, including the Americas Cup, the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy and a number of trophies for Royal Ascot in its role as Official Trophies and Silverware Supplier, which originally dates back to the first Gold Cup in 1842.
The company that was to become Garrard was founded by George Wickes (1698–1761), who entered his mark in Goldsmiths' Hall in 1722. Wickes set up business in Threadneedle Street in the City of London in 1722; the company moved to Panton Street off Haymarket in central London in 1735 as a goldsmith and provider of jewellery and other luxury items to aristocratic patrons. Wickes was an accomplished silversmith known for his work in the rococo style, and gained the patronage of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Two apprentices of Wickes, John Parker and Edward Wakelin, purchased the company following Wickes' retirement in 1760, replaced by John Wakelin and William Taylor in 1776. Following the death of William Taylor, Robert Garrard became a partner in the company in 1792. Garrard took sole control of the firm in 1802, with his sons Robert Garrard II, James and Sebastian succeeding him in running the company, trading as R., J., & S. Garrard (or Robert Garrard & Brothers) until James' retirement in 1835, when the company became R & S Garrard. The company remained in the hands of the Garrard family until the death of Sebastian Henry Garrard, great-grandson of Robert Garrard senior, in 1946. The name Garrard & Company Ltd was registered in 1909, and the company moved to new premises in Albemarle Street in central London in 1911.
In 1843, Queen Victoria appointed Garrard as the first ever official Crown Jewellers, leading to the production of numerous pieces of silverware and jewellery for the Royal Family, as well as the upkeep of the Crown Jewels. The company has dealt with a number of famous jewels, such as the Cullinan diamonds (including Cullinan I, "The Great Star of Africa"), and created such pieces as the Imperial Crown of India in 1911, the crown of Queen Mary for her coronation, and the Crown of Queen Elizabeth in 1937. In 1852, Garrard were given the responsibility of re-cutting the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond into a brilliant.
In 1848 Garrard produced what is now referred to as the America's Cup, and is the oldest international sporting trophy. The Cup is an ornate sterling silver bottomless ewer originally awarded in 1851 by the Royal Yacht Squadron for a yacht race around the Isle of Wight in England, which was won by the schooner America. The trophy was renamed the 'America's Cup' after the yacht and was donated to the New York Yacht Club under the terms of the Deed of Gift, which made the cup available for perpetual international competition.
Garrard amalgamated with The Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company in 1952, when they closed their Albemarle workshops and moved premises to Regent Street. Garrard merged with the jewellery firm Asprey in 1998 to become Asprey & Garrard, moving from 112 Regent Street to premises on New Bond Street. The company demerged in 2002, with Garrard returning to the Albemarle Street site it first occupied in 1911. Garrard was acquired by the US private equity firm Yucaipa Companies in 2006, ending its partnership with Asprey.
On 15 July 2007, an announcement was made in the Court Circular, under Buckingham Palace, that Garrard & Co's services as crown jeweller were no longer required, with the reason cited being that it was simply 'time for a change' . This ended 166 years of Garrard's tenure as the inaugural British Royal Jeweller, although Garrard still holds a royal warrant from her son, the Prince of Wales.
After the Death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the ring passed to her sons, and in 2011 it returned to the public eye as the engagement ring Prince William, Duke of Cambridge gave to his wife Catherine. The distinctive cluster setting of this ring has become a signature of the House, and is still seen in the designs of the 1735 collection today.
Garrard has created many other jewels that are worn by the British royal family, including the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara which Queen Elizabeth II is seen wearing in the portrait featured on British currency. The Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau worn by Meghan Markle on the occasion of her marriage to HRH Prince Harry was created during Garrard’s time as crown jeweller.
The Garrard Jubilee Sapphire
In 2018 The House of Garrard continued its rich legacy of sapphire jewellery creations with the unveiling of a 118.88ct royal blue Burmese sapphire presented in a brooch that features the House’s signature cluster setting. The jewel was named in honour of the 65th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, a date traditionally marked by the gift of a sapphire, and pays tribute to the House’s role in remodelling the Imperial State Crown for the occasion.
- Gere, C., Culme, J., and Summers, W. (1994). Garrard: The Crown Jewellers for 150 Years. London: Quartet Books. ISBN 0-7043-7055-7.
- Noon, Chris. "Billionaire Burkle Buys U.K. Crown Jeweller" Forbes, 21 March 2006, retrieved 21 November 2006.
- "Ascot". www.ascot.co.uk. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- "What is the oldest sporting trophy". quezi.com. 23 February 2010. Archived from the original on 21 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-01.[unreliable source?]
- "About America's Cup". Sir Peter Blake Trust. 2 August 2014. Archived from the original on 11 December 2015.
- DE ROSEE, SOPHIE (10 January 2012). "World of: Jade Jagger, designer". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- "Garrard to lose Royal Jeweller role". 10 February 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- "Garrard to lose Royal Jeweller role". Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- "Royal Warrant Holders Association – Garrard & Co Ltd". Royal Warrant Holders Association. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- ; David Wilkes; Fay Schlesinger (November 2010). "A ring fit for his mother... and his love: Prince William's sapphire and diamond engagement ring for Kate". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- "See Meghan Markle's Sparkly Royal Wedding Tiara". Cosmopolitan. 19 May 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- "House Of Garrard Creates 118 Carat Sapphire To Mark Queen Elizabeth's 65th Jubilee". Harper's BAZAAR Arabia. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- Article on the design of Garrard's Albemarle St base
- 1998 Evening Standard article on Garrard's responsibilities for maintaining the Crown Jewels
- Article on patented diamond cuts, including Garrard's Eternal cut
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