March 8, 2021
I last visited London five years ago. At that time we visited every button, antique, haberdashery, rock and gem shop available. Spending every single moment, of every single day (ten days in all) sourcing treasures to work with in my jewellery creations. I had heard about the London Silver Vaults, but had not carved out the time to go in previous visits. This time, we made it a priority, and I’m so glad we did.
The London Silver Vaults is a large subterranean market that opened as The Chancery Lane Safe Deposit on 7 May 1885. Originally renting out strong rooms to hold household silver, jewellery and documents, it transitioned to housing silver dealers in secure premises a few years later.
The Vaults boasts 29 specialist shops; each one a treasure trove of beautifully crafted antique and modern silver, and jewellery, dating from the early 1600s to the present day.
Today, it is the home of silver shopping and a true hidden gem; well-loved by international royalty, film stars and discerning shoppers seeking the world’s finest silver.
All of the vault owners are independent retailers and many are third generation family businesses, with expert knowledge and a rich history. From silver tableware, cutlery, decorative pieces and gifts, to fine jewellery and rare collectors’ items: the Vaults sells the widest variety of silver in the world. The outside of the building is not really impressive, but once inside and deep into the “guts” of the vaults, it’s a whole different opulent world!
Of course I was not looking for finished jewellery, rather unique and interesting cutlery to be used in my earrings and ring creations. I was not disappointed! Entering each shop/vault I drooled as they brought out one remarkable cutlery set after another. I was really clear as to what I was looking for. The cutlery needed to be in perfect condition, with interesting and beautiful patterns, not the usual “Cheap and Cheerful” cutlery available at second hand shops and the like. I wanted a step above. At the end of a very long afternoon, I walked away with several sets, which have now been transformed into my bespoke jewellery.
Below are a few examples, with both pairs of earrings available. The ring is part of my own jewellery collection, but if you’re interested in spoon rings, let me know and I can send thru’ a few photos of availability. (They are not on my website.)
I hope this little peek into just one of the many places I’ve sourced goodies over the years gives you an idea of the this part of my process.
Check out all the latest & greatest jewellery on my website here: https://www.reneeblackwelldesign.com/