Posted 4 years ago
I have just aquired this superb and very rare Sampson Mordan Sterling Silver engraved Pen, Pencil & Page Marker cased set. Hallmarked 1890:
Retailed by Hardy Brothers. Goldsmiths & Jeweller. 13 Hunter Street. Sydney. Australia. Hardy Brothers were founded in 1839. Their current Sydney address is 60 Castlereagh Street, they now have several outlets elsewhere in Australia. (See Company history below)
The Pen, Pencil and Page Marker are grouped together in a leather effect presentation case. The case has a profiled tray that cradles each of the three pieces in midnight blue velvet. The upper lid is lined in midnight blue silk that bears the retailers name in gold leaf. All of the box furniture is in brass which is expected for the time. There is some slight wear to the leather effect and the velvet in places, which is entirely commensurate with its age and normal use down the years.
History of Hardy Brothers of Australia:
Hardy Brothers, Watchmakers and Jewellers, 13 Hunter-street.—This business, which is the leading one of its kind in Sydney, was established in 1839 by Mr. John Hardy and his brother, Mr. Samuel Hardy, who remained the home partner up to the time of his decease, when he was succeeded by his son, who has since retained that position. Mr. John Hardy is assisted in Sydney by his eldest son, who was admitted into partnership a few years ago. Their stock consists of all articles of the very best quality embraced in the jeweller's and watchmaker's trade; and as a proof of their standing in public appreciation, although the business is conducted upstairs and without show windows, all visitors of note to the city view the establishment before leaving. Their stock of diamonds, jewellery, and gems is held to be second to none out of London; their watches are only of the best makers, and their silver plate would satisfy the most fastidious. The manufacture of plate and trophies, and the setting of gems is all carried on by a staff of workmen and assistants, numbering generally from twenty-five to thirty.
Source: The Aldine Centennial History of New South Wales - W. Frederic Morrison - 1888
Hardy Brothers; Goldsmiths & Jeweller; Subsequent History:
In 1929, Hardy Brothers of Australia were appointed jewellers by Royal Warrant to His Majesty, King George V. As holder of the Royal Warrant, Hardy Brothers have served all sovereigns since George V, including the reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. The circumstances leading to the issuing of the much coveted Warrant were that from the late 1800s Hardy Brothers had been under vice-regal patronage, serving the early Governors of Australia and later the State Governors and Governors-General, and at times, visiting royalty. The originator of the Australian business, John Hardy, worked hard at establishing the right contacts to gain him entree to the Governors' social circles and it paid off handsomely. As well as their personal patronage, the early Governors requested John Hardy's assistance with the presentation of State dinners and receptions at their official residences. Then, in the mid 1920s, Hardy Brothers were invited to supply `Yarralumla', the Canberra home of Australia's Governor-General, with their silver, china and glassware appointments. They have also supplied similar items during the years to the Prime Minister's Canberra residence, The Lodge. One of their early impressive royal commissions as holders of the Warrant was to supply an 18-carat gold cup for the running of the first King's Cup horse race in 1927, now the Queen's Cup.
Members of the Royal family who number among Hardy Brothers' famous customers include Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort, Australia's favourite royal Princess Alexandra, and also the late Lord Louis Mountbatten, who while on tour here once wandered into the Sydney store to get his broken watch-chain repaired and to buy a few trinkets. The conspicuous royal figure was hurriedly ushered into a back room and looked after, before any curious crowds could gather.
Queen Elizabeth II owns a magnificent yellow and white diamond wattle brooch, designed and made by Hardy Brothers as a gift from the Australian Government. But it was the Queen's uncle, the late Duke of Windsor, who is perhaps the most remembered of the Royal customers. As Prince of Wales, long before his notorious abdication from the throne to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson, he visited Australia on numerous occasions, often staying at his horse property, Windybanks, outside Tamworth in New South Wales. It was during those brief private visits to his property that the Prince became quite a frequent customer at Hardy Brothers. And history relates that most of the Prince's purchases were gifts for young women friends.
Another of Hardy Brothers historic Royal commissions was to design and supply the gold mallet and trowel for the ceremonious laying of foundations at the site of Australia's Federal capital, Canberra.
What is the Royal Warrant? Royal Warrants are a mark of recognition to people or companies who have regularly supplied goods or services for at least five years to certain members of the Royal Family. They have always been regarded as a mark of excellence and quality, and are highly prized.
“By Appointment: The History of Hardy Brothers 1780-1980.”
(By G. Franzmann). (Melbourne 1980).