Handed on a silver platter
Country Life UK|September 23, 2020
Handed on a silver platter
Tucked away in an old Cotswolds silk mill, expert craftsmen harness a century of expertise to raise, planish and finish fine gold and silverware. Jeremy Flint visits Hart’s of Chipping Campden
Jeremy Flint
FROM tiny thimbles to candlesticks, cutlery and ecclesiastical silverware, Hart’s gold and silversmith in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, has been crafting exquisitely ornate, original and timeless pieces for generations. Indeed, some of the firm’s most notable recent commissions include a solid-silver model of a reaper plane that has pride of place in the officer’s mess at a local RAF base, a crown for the boar’s head at The Queen’s College, Oxford, which incorporates the college’s coat of arms, a honey stand for Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and an intricate armillary sphere (a model of objects in the sky, comprising a spherical framework of rings, centred on the Earth or the Sun, that represent lines of celestial longitude and latitude).

The establishment’s expert craftsmen have been making silver in a traditional workshop, tucked away in a quiet side street on the first floor of an old silk mill, for more than a century and it’s very much still a family-owned and run affair. The owner, David Hart, has worked here as a silversmith for more than 60 years, having learned the craft from his father, Henry. In time-honoured tradition, David has, in turn, passed on his skills to his son William, his nephew Julian Hart and Derek Elliott, who served his apprenticeship with David as a young man.

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September 23, 2020