The final instalment of our Lapidary story focuses on restoration. Here at Holts we have been lucky enough to work with some truly incredible works of art, restoring them to their former glory.
But restoration isn’t always about making a piece of jewellery or objet d’art look brand new and modern, often it involves making a piece look old and in tune with a particular era.
Some of the most memorable restorations we have completed in recent years include an entire clock made from malachite, a fireplace made solely of Blue John and cutting various pieces of hardstone to fit in the Albert Memorial.
For those of you familiar with Blue John, you may not be able to think of a more impractical material with which to create a fireplace (beautiful but super fragile). It was brought to our workshop in dismantled pieces so our lapidaries could work on it, eventually allowing it to be refitted as a working fireplace.
Our head of workshop clearly remembers working on the Albert Memorial back in 1997, where he was lucky enough to climb the scaffolding to half-way up the tower, where he had to measure and create cardboard diagrams in order to cut the stones to right size to fit the cast iron clasps. A year later, Holts turned 50 and to celebrate the workshop spent 4 months recreating the memorial in miniature. The lovely Dame Judy Dench was on-site to unveil the masterpiece, marking one of the most humbling experiences in Holts’ recent history.
Our lapidaries are experts in cutting, and this includes cutting styles that are era appropriate. Whether it is a pair of Byzantine garnet earrings or an Edwardian emerald ring, they have the knowledge and the expertise to repair and restore.
And when you’re walking through Hyde Park, and stumble upon the Albert Memorial, you can look up and see a little bit of Holts shrouded in history.