Dr Dora Thornton
On the first floor of the Hall, we are showing a small treasury of pieces in platinum from our Collection in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee, showcasing technical innovation; the history of platinum hallmarking; and illustrating what is particular about working with the metal. The highlight of the display is one very special commission for 2022, The Platinum Jubilee Brooch, presented by the Company to HM The Queen to mark 70 years of service. The Company’s duplicate is numbered on the reverse to distinguish it from the brooch presented to The Queen. Made by award-winning British fine jewellery designer, David Marshall, and his team at their workshop in London’s iconic jewellery quarter, Hatton Garden, the design was handpicked by The Queen from a shortlist invited from highly acclaimed UK jewellery makers. The Brooch represents the four nations and includes lily of the valley, which featured in The Queen’s Coronation bouquet. Combining hand-making skills with the latest in digital design and technology, the brooch points to the subtle blend of tradition and innovation which is explored in our recent book on the Company’s brooches, The Brooch Unpinned. Other platinum treasures on display include a recent pendant by Tom Rucker demonstrating his laser welding and manipulated platinum technique; a pair of faceted rings by Melanie Eddy and a standing cup in platinum by Jocelyn Burton.
The story of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Brooch demonstrates how pieces in our Collection are ambassadors for the Company’s role in national life. We use them to teach the next generation and to promote wider knowledge and patronage of the craft. Sharing what we do with wider audiences through our books and online is a way of introducing people to a world-leading British craft of art jewellery and silver. It is part of our ambition to open up the Collection.
Our exhibitions mark four decades of excellence in precious metal. They also celebrate the creativity on view at our world-famous Fair, and the role of the Company in supporting contemporary makers both now and in the future.