Jewellery, Watches, Antiquities and Objects of Vertu (15 September 2020)

Date of Auction: 15th September 2020


Estimate: £2,200 - £2,600

An 18ct two colour gold bracelet, by David Thomas, 1972, the bark textured white gold rectangular hoop links each with a grille of polished yellow gold batons within, clasp hallmarked for London, 1972 and bearing maker’s mark and facsimile signature, bracelet length 21cm. £2,200-£2,600


David Thomas was born in Hampton Hill, Middlesex in 1938. His father was an academic but encouraged his son’s ambition to be an artist and transferred David to Twickenham School of Art in 1953 when he was only 15. He made his first piece of jewellery in the same year, and later won a Royal Society of Arts bursary which enabled him to travel in Italy and France. Leaving school in 1958 at a time when there were few British workshops employing modern designers, David moved to Stockholm where he found a job with W A Bolin, the Swedish Crown jewellers and then worked as a silversmith with Sven Arne Gillgren. In 1959 he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, earning the title of Royal Scholar by the end of his first year. He began to move away from working in silver, by this time becoming fascinated by gold, a more precious metal which demanded a greater fineness of detail. After leaving the Royal College of Art in 1961, he set up his own studio at Hampton Hill, moving to 4c Old Church Street, Chelsea in 1965. By this time, interest in his work was becoming international, with exhibitions all over the world, including Dusseldorf, Stockholm, Zurich, Amsterdam, a one man show in Australia in 1964 and America, 1967 and exhibiting in the British Pavilion at Expo ‘70 Japan.

Most of David Thomas’ jewellery is made on private commission, designing and creating jewels for his private clients, espousing his belief that jewellery is an ‘intense personal art form’. However, in 1972 he put his experience to wider use, when he produced the Atlantis Collection, in association with Prestige Jewellery in London.

Moving in 1985 to new studios at 65, Pimlico Road, David Thomas’ jewels today are to be found in the collections of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and De Beers Consolidated Mines.