J.C. Vickery - London - 1903
This was the firm of John Collard Vickery, an important and sucessful player in the retail side of the gold and silversmithing business in the early 20th century.
Collard and his then partner, Arthur Thomas Hobbs, bought up the long established business of William Griggs, a stationer and bookseller at 183, Regent Street in c.1890 and expanded the stock to include jewellery, dressing cases, gold and silver lines.
The partnership with Hobbs was a short lived one and was dissolved in 1891. Now on his own, Vickery went from strength to strength expanding the Regent Street premises to include, at first, No.181 and then No.179 by the year 1900. He went on to obtain the royal warrants of HM the King, HM the Queen, HM Queen Alexandra, TRH the Prince and Princess of Wales, HM the King of Portugal, HM the King of Spain, TM the King and Queen of Denmark, HM the Queen of Norway, HM the King of Sweden and the Prince and Princess Christian of Schleswig Holstein.
A move further up Regent Street to No's 145/147, in 1925, was forced by the expiration of the leases on the original premises. The move along with the depression in the 1920's and Vickery's advancing years all contributed to the firm being declared bankrupt in 1930.
John Collard Vickery died aged 75 on the 19th August 1930, what was left of the business fell into the hands of James Walker Ltd.
John Culme in his 'Directory of Gold & Silversmiths'
relates a nice story regarding Vickery: Shortly before his death, the late G. S. Saunders of James Walker Ltd., told me that J. C. Vickery's business reached the height of its success before the First World War. Vickery, who would travel each day from Streatham to Regent Street in his own carriage, stopped his coachman one day in order to examine a leaf on the drive outside his house. Stepping down from the vehicle he picked up the leaf to pin to it a note. As he continued his journey his gardeners were astonished to read ' Why has this leaf been here for two days?'
John Collard Vickery entered his first mark at the London Assay Office on the 25th April 1899. This was followed by further entries on the 2nd May 1899, 22nd May 1901 (Three sizes), 14th April 1902 (Two sizes) and on the 26th June 1903 (Two sizes). All are 'J.C.V.' in an oblong punch, some with clipped corners.