Bernard Meadows

Brooch, made by H.J. Co. Ltd.

1961

Gilded silver with a swirling, textured surface in relief, set with a diamond on the lower left-hand edge.

One of two jewels in the Collection cast by H.J. Company Ltd. from Meadows’ wax originals and given to the Goldsmiths’ Company after the 1961 exhibition; another example was given to the Victoria & Albert Museum. Meadows was a leading sculptor who had worked as assistant to Henry Moore and who became Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 1960; securing work by him was a coup for Graham Hughes. The brooch demonstrates in miniature Meadows’ interest in casting, texture and surface treatments as seen on his large bronzes following his introduction of a foundry at the Royal College in 1960. It won joint 3rd prize in the De Beers British Jewellery competition for jewellery worth up to £100 in 1961. Together with brooches by Kessell and Adams, also cast from wax models, Hughes claimed it “proved, if proof be needed, that cheap materials need not mean artistic insignificance, and that creative imagination shown with one visual art can very often be diverted to another”.

Back of brooch and hallmark
Detail of brooch