EDWARDS AND KAUL
Edwards and Kaul, Melbourne. This firm of manufacturing gold and silver smiths, jewellers, watchmakers, and opticians, carrying on business at 5 Collins-street west, is one of the oldest manufacturing ones in the city. It was founded in Little Collins-street east in 1856, in a very primitive way, the principal business done at that time being the manufacture of gold and silver articles for the trade. At that period there was but a handful of shopkeepers in Melbourne, but with the steady progress of the city, trade increased, and the staff, then consisting only of the few principal journeymen in the city, and two apprentices, increased also. From the primitive style of hand-labour appliances, more modern notions were introduced; lathes, dies, casts, &c, were imported from Europe, together with the best skilled labour, and the old premises being found too small for the ever-growing requirements, more commodious ones were taken at 85 Collins-street east, nearly opposite the Argus office. A steady increase of business then set in, and that, combined with private practice, gave this firm the manufacture of almost all the gold and silver public and private presentations, prizes, and gifts of those days. They gained high encomiums from the press for their finished craft, notably the Duke of Edinburgh gifts, the Garibaldi sword, the gold casket presented to the late Captain Standish (which was acknowledged to be a masterpiece of art), and numerous gold cups, trowels, dinner and tea services, &c. From 1866 to 1874 the firm experienced great difficulty in obtaining silver, and thousands of ounces of old plate was purchased by them and melted for the production of lines of new work. No difficulty was experienced in getting gold, which was always obtainable from the diggings. Since the opening of the Mint, however, the silver difficulty has been overcome. Yet, although standard gold and silver is purchasable at the Mint, the public have no general guarantee of the quality of the metals. Intercessions were made by the firm when the late Hon. J. G. Francis visited England, to have a "hall mark" established, but without effect. Since then the firm has combined retail trade with manufacturing, with the result that more extensive accommodation was required, and in consequence central premises were engaged at 31 Collins-street west, where a new industry sprang up, namely, the utilisation of colonial products for home presents, the consequence being that native gold and silver have been extensively used for making ornaments in conjunction with emu, ostrich, and black swan eggs, the nut of the burra or Queensland bean, and various Australasian shells, and West Australian pearls. The Queensland opal is also largely used for articles of jeweller, room ornaments, and the like. In the production of these, the most modern appliances and the most talented artisan labour have been utilised. The firm has exhibited its works of art at all the principal exhibitions, and has been awarded numerous gold, silver and bronze medals, certificates, and other evidences of its skill. In 1876 still more extensive premises were found an absolute necessity for the ever-growing operations of the firm, and it succeeded in obtaining its present commodious ware and work rooms at 5 Collins-street west. There, in order to keep pace with the time, suitable workshops have been erected, so that the firm is now in keeping with the importance of the city, and can maintain its prestige as one of the most modern, as well as the earliest manufacturing firms of gold and silver in Victoria.
Source: Victoria and its Metropolis, Past and Present - Alexander Sutherland - 1888
Real German Silver
Our German colonists of Bendigo have woke up to the idea that the pen is mightier than the sword, aud have accordingly provided Prince Bismarck with a gorgeous inkstand to match it, manufactured by Messrs. Edwards and Kaul, of Collins-street. After seeing it, we venture to say it will be harder to beat the inkstand than the pen; in which case the French had better give up all idea of avenging Sedan for the present.
Source: The Melbourne Punch - 24th April 1873