Royal Goldsmiths:
The Art of Rundell & Bridge, 1797-1843
Christopher Hartop






How to order

Where to find the book

Every sale of this book benefits the Prince’s Trust

Published by
John Adamson 
for Koopman Rare Art

168 pp.
more than 150
in colour
11 5/8 × 8 5/8 in. 
(296 × 220 mm)

Paperback £19.95

Obtainable from any good bookseller or from:

John Adamson:
90 Hertford Street, Cambridge CB4 3AQ, UK
e-mail: Book orders

Distributed in the United States and Canada by:

Antique Collectors’ Club, New York


The first to be devoted to Rundell & Bridge, the Royal Goldsmiths, who served four monarchs, this book presents a wealth of gold and silver objects, jewellery, snuff-boxes, watches, medals and decorations, as well as works in ormolu and bronze, from museums and private collections around the world, including the Royal Collection. Some of the items are published here for the first time.

The partnership of Philip Rundell and John Bridge, started in London towards the end of the eighteenth century, went on to become the greatest firm of goldsmiths, jewellers and medallists of the age. Its stable of distinguished artists, headed by the sculptor John Flaxman, was the driving force in the adoption of a new imperial style in English silver. Later, the firm created jewellery and silver in the historicist and naturalistic styles and was at the forefront of the Gothic revival. Among the firm’s customers were the Prince Regent, later King George IV, and such notable figures as William Beckford, Thomas Hope, Lord Castlereagh, Prince Lieven and the Duke of Wellington.

Known as ‘Oil’ and ‘Vinegar’, Rundell and Bridge were of wildly contrasting personalities. While Philip Rundell was an irascible taskmaster deemed to be the best judge of gemstones in London, the urbane John Bridge, described by a contemporary as the ‘complete courtier’, was the public face of the firm. He guided the Prince Regent in assembling a magnificent collection of gold and silver works, both antique and new, which today forms part of the Royal Collection.

With more than 150 colour illustrations, this book is an indispensable tool for the collector as well as for anyone interested in the arts and commerce of early nineteenth-century Britain.

‘... much-needed ...’  Silver Studies

‘... wonderfully illustrated, with well written and thought out essays by leading scholars; it brings our knowledge of these royal goldsmiths up to date.’  Spencer Marks



  • Foreword His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales

  • Acknowledgements

  • Chronology

  • Introduction Philippa Glanville

  • The Business of Luxury

  • At the Sign of the Golden Salmon

  • ‘The First of Its Kind in the Empire’

  • A Patriotic Age

    • Rundell’s and Their Gold Box Suppliers Charles Truman

  • ‘... the most splendid collection of jewels ... in Europe ...’

  • ‘A Manufactory on a large and liberal plan’

    • The Lure of Egypt David Watkin

  • ‘Ten thousand ounces of sterling silver monthly’

  • Our ‘greatest patron & best friend’

    • George IV and Jewellery Diana Scarisbrick

    • George IV and the Grand Service Matthew Winterbottom

  • The Great Accumulator

  • An Imperial Style

  • Naturalism and Exoticism

  • The Final Years

  • Bibliography

  • Index


The Author

Christopher Hartop’s books include The Huguenot Legacy (1996), East Anglian Silver (2004), A Noble Feast (2008), The Classical Ideal (2010), A Noble Pursuit (2010) and Norfolk Summer: Making The Go-Between (2011).



Philippa Glanville is the author of Silver in England (1984), Silver in Tudor and Early Stuart England (1989), Silver (1995), Elegant Eating (1998) and most recently, with Gordon Glanville, a chapter in City Merchants and the Arts (2004). She was Keeper of Metalwork at the Victoria and Albert Museum until 1999, and subsequently Academic Director, the Rothschild Collection, Waddesdon Manor.

Diana Scarisbrick is an independent historian of jewellery. Her books include Ancestral Jewels (1989), Rings: Symbols of Wealth, Power and Affection (1993), Jewellery in Britain 1066-1837 (1994), Chaumet: Master Jewellers since 1780 (1995) and Four Thousand Years of Craftsmanship: The Hashimoto Collection of Rings (2004). She has organized exhibitions for museums in America, Japan and France.

Charles Truman is the author of The James A. de Rothschild Collection: Gold Boxes and Miniatures (1975), The Thyssen Bornemisza Collection of Gold Boxes (1984), The Gilbert Collection of Gold Boxes - Part 1 (1991)  and Part 2 (1999) , and edited The Sotheby’s Concise Encyclopaedia of Silver  (1992). A director of C. & L. Burman Ltd, he is Chairman of the British Antique Dealers’ Association.

David Watkin is Emeritus Professor of the History of Architecture at Cambridge University and the author of Thomas Hope and the Neo-classical Idea (1968), Morality and Architecture (1977), The Royal Interiors of Regency England (1990) and The Architect King: George III and the Culture of the Enlightenment  (2004).

Matthew Winterbottom is Curator of Decorative Art at the Holburne Museum, Bath. While working as Assistant Curator (Works of Art), The Royal Collection, he contributed to Royal Treasures (2001) and to George III and Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting and Court Taste  (2004).



Contact the publisher for further information:

e-mail: book enquiries,

letter: John Adamson, 90 Hertford Street, Cambridge
CB4 3AQ, England


How to order the book offline

Please print off the order form and send it by mail to John Adamson, 90 Hertford Street, Cambridge CB4 3AQ, England.