The Personal Archive of Louis Osman, Goldsmith and Architect

Date of Auction: 27th March 2018

Sold for £1,500

Estimate: £200 - £400

Louis Osman Archive: A selection of jewellery designs, including a design and annotated working drawings for the ‘Spider’s web’ necklace; nine pages of designs for jewels for the Australian Pearl Company; an A2 design for a zodiac pendant necklace on blue paper, accompanied by 12 A4 sketches of the signs of the zodiac; a designs for an opal suite, a pectoral cross, a diamond engagement ring, cross pendants, bracelets, rings, necklaces, etc, together with photographic slides of some finished pieces. £200-400


The ‘Spider’s web’ necklace was designed by Louis for the 1961 International Jewellery Exhibition in Tokyo. It is a delicate web of articulated gold links suspending 135 brilliant-cut diamond ‘dew drops’. Louis “always felt this to be his most splendid piece of jewellery”, and the stunning necklace won second prize in the 1961 De Beers Modern Jewellery Competition, and was purchased by the Goldsmiths’ Company for their collections.

In 1970 Louis produced a series of designs for jewels and small silver pieces for the Australian Pearl Company.

The pectoral cross was designed by Louis for Colin James, possibly for the bishop of Winchester. The silver cross is suspended on a silver chain with seven gold pellets to either side representing the seven gifts of God and the seven deadly sins.

The remaining designs are mostly for privately commissioned pieces.

See: Louis Osman Gold Exhibition, Goldsmiths’ Hall, February 1971, cat no 16 and 35.
See: Osman, An exhibition at Canons Ashby, May 1974, cat no 15, 117 and 125.