Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths wave a magic wand and donate £10 million to the Cheapside Hoard


In April, after a private visit to the Cheapside Hoard deep in the vaults of the Museum of London, Luxury Topping made a wish for a fairy godmother to donate funds to ensure the Cheapside Hoard could be on permanent display. Our wish was granted! Judith Cobham-Lowe, the first woman Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in over 690 years, waved a magic wand and a gallery bearing the Goldsmiths’ name will be at the heart of the new Museum when it opens in 2022 with this magnificent donation from their affiliated Charity.Goldsmith's Collection with Queen Elizabeth II The Museum of London has long been the home of the collection of the Cheapside Hoard. There is currently only a small fraction of the collection on display, but now thanks to the generous donation by Goldsmiths Company we will all be able to marvel at the 500 year old collection in its entirety. The Hoard was discovered in Cheapside in 1912 by a group of builders upon the demolition of a house near St Paul’s, which had been hidden for over 350 years. For more information about this fascinating discovery, read our articles on Luxury Topping.A gold and enamelled pendant set with red and green glass. 16th-17th century (1560AD-1640AD)London was the centre of global goldsmiths working in gold and trading gemstones from all over the world. The Hoard is regarded as the single most important find of its type in the world, and gives a whole new meaning to hiding your jewellery under the floorboards. Today, as demonstrated in the annual Goldsmiths’ Fair, London is the capital of creativity and design. The joining together of the Goldsmiths’ world renowned collection of history of silver and jewellery, plus the dedication of Hazel Forsyth, the Curator and expert on the Cheapside Hoard, gives an opportunity to show to the world these amazing collections combined to glitter and glisten together.

Watch, set in single large Colombian emerald crystal of hexagonal form with hinged lid. The movement and dial plate are corroded and cannot be raised out of the setting. The dial plate is enamelled in translucent green and the circular gold suspension loop and button securing the movement at the base are set with small emeralds. The suspension loop is set in a white enamelled flower, c.1610. Part of the Cheapside Hoard. The main body of the case is cut from a single piece of emerald with a lid of facetted emerald. The catch for the lid consists of a gold pin set in the base which passes through a hole in a gold tube set in the lid. The watch has a gold dial overlaid with dark green enamel through which can be seen the engraved design of radiating lines.

There are still more magic wands to be waved, as there is another £60 million to be raised before 2022, a large hurdle requiring more fairy godmothers with large magic wands! However, the good news is that you can see the creative work of modern contemporary jewellery designers and silversmiths at Goldsmiths’ Fair, which will run from the 28th September for two weeks and put a sparkle into your life by buying directly from a contemporary jewellery designer.

Patel, Shivani

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First image courtesy Goldsmith’s Company; All other images courtesy Museum of London.