Lee Brothers were established in 1943. Their start in business was an opportunist venture to take advantage of the interruption of the importation of jewellery into Ireland as a consequence of World War II. British manufacturers had almost a monopoly supplying the Dublin retailers prior to the war, but as time moved on, and stocks began to dwindle more and more, the retailers started to look to local craftsmen to supply their needs.
It was the initiative of two brothers, Thomas & Christopher Lee, who seized the opportunity to start a business that would fill the gap left by the absence of the traditional jewellery suppliers. Both of the brothers had previous experience of working in the jewellery trade, Thomas in London & Christopher in Dublin, but no doubt, their immediate problem would have been that of a regular supply of raw material required for jewellery manufacture, gold and silver. This was solved by striking a deal with a major player in the Dublin pawnbroking trade, Thomas O’Connor, and with workshops acquired in Pearse Street, Dublin, production of jewellery started in 1943. The business was an immediate success and the brother's firm flourished, having most of the larger Dublin retailers amongst their customers. In that same year, 1943, they were joined by another brother, Patrick, who in time was to become the longest serving member of the family business, staying with the firm until 2003.
Thomas and Christopher Lee unfortunately both died at a young age, and another brother, Charles, took over the running of the company and steered the business through the difficult period following the end of the war and facing the competition of returning British jewellery suppliers. New, more spacious, premises were acquired at Eustace Street, and Lee Brothers extended their customer network beyond Dublin to cover the whole of Ireland and thus secured the future of the company. During the period of the 1950's to the 1970's, the business had a workforce peaking at 36 employees.
The year 1966 saw the company move again, this time to Moore Lane, where a large investment in sophisticated machinery was made and Lee Brothers expanded their production into the manufacture of high quality medals and badges. In 1992, John Lee took over the reins of the company following the retirement of Charles. The 1980's and the 1990's had seen the firms share of the jewellery market go into decline and the decision was made to end the production of jewellery, and concentrate on the manufacture of medals and badges.
In 2001, Lee Brothers (Jewellers) Limited entered their mark at the Edinburgh Assay Office, L.B without surround.
The company is still in business today and are now located in Santry, near Dublin Airport.
Yet to be 100% confirmed, but an example of what is thought likely to be the work and marks of Lee Brothers: