Venerable English jeweller. William Asprey established Asprey in 1781. During the previous century, his Huguenot ancestors fled religious persecution in France, eventually settling in England, where they put their traditional leatherworking, watchmaking, and metalsmithing skills to work. 1 At first, William specialized in dressing cases. In 1859, he acquired a company with a royal warrant to fabricate dressing cases for Queen Victoria. Several years later, in 1862, Asprey won its own royal warrant on the basis of its prize-winning work at London’s International Exhibition. During the twentieth century, the firm expanded its original business considerably, garnering additional royal appointments as goldsmiths, silversmiths, and jewellers. In the 1930’s, the store relocated to New Bond Street. Currently, Asprey has locations in London, New York, and throughout the Middle East and Asia. Its clientele includes English and Arabian royalty as well as heads of state. The firm prides itself on its custom designs, including novelty items like collapsible gold toothbrushes.2 It also offers luxury merchandise including clocks, watches, silver objects, china, furniture, daggers, and clothing.
Maker’s Marks and Timeline:
- Dressing Cases
- New Bond Street Store
- Great Exhibition: Gold Medal awarded by Queen Victoria
- Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria
- Royal Warrant from King Edward VII
- Pearl Necklace commissioned by Queen Mary
- Five trunks commissioned by Maharajah of Patiala
- Queen’s Award to industry from Queen Elizabeth II
- Merger: Asprey & Garrard
- Demerger from Garrard
- Specializing in custom designs, novelties & luxury merchandise
- Traina, John. Extraordinary Jewels. New York: Double Day, 1994.
- Asprey Website