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Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu,
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marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs,
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MARKS - HALLMARKS - HISTORY
Stuart Leslie Devlin (9 October 1931 - 12 April 2018) was born in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, and became an art teacher, specializing in gold and silversmithing. In 1957, he obtained a post at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and studied for a Diploma of Art in gold and silversmithing.
In 1958 he was awarded scholarships to study at the Royal College of Art in London where he excelled and, as a result, obtained a Fellowship by the Harkness Foundation of New York. He chose to spend the two-year fellowship at Columbia University in the U.S.
In 1962, he returned to teach in Melbourne, Australia and in 1964 he won a competition to design the first decimal coinage for Australia.
In 1965 he moved to London where opened a small workshop.
Devlin and other silversmiths, as Gerald Benney, were disenchanted with designing anonymously for big manufacturing firms, which were in decline, and they set out on their own. They focused on their own style and had a personal commitment to the marketing of their own productions.
This marked the beginning of Devlin's true style which obtained great success with the idea of limited editions, the most popular of these were the surprise Easter eggs and Christmas boxes which have now become collector's items.
Developing these pieces required technical innovation because the traditional methods of enrichment were either not available any more or were too time-consuming and therefore prohibitively expensive. Devlin adapted and devised techniques to enable him to produce a wide variety of textures and filigree forms.
In 1972 he transferred his retail gallery to the ground floor of his St. John Street workshop in Clerkenwell where employed nine craftsmen and continued holding the annual exhibition of his collection, often numbering 250 pieces.
In 1982, Devlin was granted the Royal Warrant of Appointment as Goldsmith and Jeweller to Her Majesty the Queen.
Between 1979 and 1985 he had a prestigious showroom in Conduit Street and after the closure of the shop Devlin with his wife moved to Chichester, West Sussex where he continued to work to commission.
Throughout the 1990s Devlin became heavily involved in the Goldsmiths' Company eventually becoming Prime Warden from 1996 to 1997. It was this involvement in the Company which led to the inception of the vision for a training facility for apprentices and designers in precious metals, the Goldsmiths' Centre, which he worked on from 2005 to its opening in 2012.
Stuart Devlin was one of the most original and creative goldsmith and silversmith of his time, and one of the greats of all time. His originality of design marked him out as a master craftsman and his prolific output was a tribute to the width of his imagination.
STERLING SILVER HALLMARKS
Stuart Devlin, London hallmark, date 2002
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