Goldsmiths’ Fair is delighted to present Timeless Innovation, a special exhibition featuring exceptional jewels from the world-renowned Goldsmiths’ Company Modern Jewellery Collection. Curated by jewellery specialist Joanna Hardy, the display features more than 20 of her personal highlights from the Collection – ‘timeless’ examples of exacting craftsmanship and innovative design . Accompanying these exquisite jewels are a few complementary pieces from master s and accomplished apprentices each reflecting timeless innovation.

In 1961, the Goldsmiths’ Company hosted the critically acclaimed International Exhibition of Modern Jewellery 1890 - 1961, a turning point in jewellery design. This ground-breaking exhibition encouraged jewellers to express their individuality and push boundaries while inspiring the more adventurous younger generation to wear bold and unique jewels. Such was the exhibition’s success that the Goldsmiths’ Company Modern Jewellery Collection was born. The best examples of precious metal jewellery have been purchased or commissioned for the Collection ever since. Today this unique grouping of innovative jewellery comprises approximately 600 pieces, more than 70 new acquisitions since the millennium.

One of the first pieces to be acquired by the Collection, an articulated diamond and platinum bracelet by Roger King, is among Hardy’s top choices. Fittingly, it won the 1961 British Jewellery De Beers Competition, which was part of the 1890-1961 exhibition. Towards the opposite end of the acquisition timeline, a delicate brooch by Andrew Lamb appears to shift and change colour as the eye moves across it. The piece was acquired for the Collection only a few years ago.

Whether made using traditional skills or the latest technologies, the Collection’s jewellery not only conveys a range of styles and a true sense of innovation but also shows how work from older craftsmen continues to inspire and influence the newer generations of jewellers. It is interesting to see designs in the Collection that have been echoed in later contemporary works, such as John Donald’s 1960s brooch and Jo Hayes-Ward bangle from the mid-2000s. Donald used traditional goldsmithing techniques while Hayes-Ward applies CAD and 3D printing to explore similar aesthetics. Building on Donald’s sculptural style, Hayes-Ward’s precision jewellery cannot realistically be made solely through traditional means; she uses innovative digital technology to make the cubic formations fresh and cutting-edge for today.

The showcase also alludes to the idea of training and the nurturing of talent as exemplified by the work of the leading light of modern UK jewellery, designer Andrew Grima, and some skilled craftsmen that have worked with him, including Tom Scott. Examples of both their work are in the exhibition - Grima’s exquisite gold choker necklace incorporating pearls and diamonds, and Tom Scott’s splendid gold necklace. The Company commissioned Scott to make a gold necklace inspired by Grima’s earlier work to celebrate Grima and the passing on of skills. This tendency continues to the present day. A gold tourmaline brooch made by Andrew Griffin, a mentee of the great Grima goldsmiths, is included in the exhibition. He uses the textured wire work technique developed by Grima in the 1960s.

Hardy says: “The Goldsmiths’ Company is an institution that nurtures craftsmanship; if my exhibition of its Collection’s outstanding work sows a seed of curiosity and inspires a generation of budding jewellers, then my mission has been accomplished.”


Week One: 26 September – 1 October
Week Two: 3 – 8 October

Opening Times
11am - 6pm (Thursdays late till 8pm)
Sunday 11am - 4pm
Closed Monday 2 October

Goldsmiths’ Hall, Foster Lane, London EC2V 6BN

Entry (valid for one week) - £15
(Advanced online - £12)
Entry (valid for two weeks) - £20
(Advanced online: £17)
Breakfast Talk - £10 with valid entry ticket

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