The Personal Archive of Louis Osman, Goldsmith and Architect

Date of Auction: 27th March 2018

Sold for £650

Estimate: £300 - £500

Louis Osman Archive: A selection of jewellery designs, comprising two A4 and one A2 sheets of designs for a suite of ruby set jewellery, an A2 sheet of working drawings for a sapphire set suite, an A4 sheet of designs for a series of lapis lazuli gold and diamond jewels, on purple paper mount and a series of nine square sheets of sketches of silver and jewellery pieces in ink and watercolour, mounted on card, 18cm x18cm, and a further ink and watercolour sketch of a detail of Sir Giles Isham’s ring. £300-500


The suite of ruby jewellery was commissioned from Louis by Mr Mumford in 1973 as a silver wedding anniversary gift for his wife Mary.

The sapphire set necklace suite was made by Louis in 1984 for Mrs Maurice Jenkins.

The series of lapis lazuli jewels were designed by Louis for Mr Derek Dunn in 1984, it is not recorded whether then were ever executed.

The series of nine square mounted sketches/designs were made by Louis for inclusion in an exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. The pieces shown include: the ring Louis made for Sir Giles Isham, utilising a large diamond presented to the Isham family by Elizabeth I; the suite of ruby jewellery designed for Mary Mumford; an Icon representing cruelty, designed for Penelope Turner; a topaz brooch designed for Mrs Hely Hutchinson; a gold ring made by Mrs Kellum; a 22ct gold goblet designed for Mr Greene; etc.

In 1974 Louis was commissioned to make a new ring for his neighbour Sir Giles Isham, remounting a large diamond that had been given to the Isham family by Elizabeth I. Louis reset the diamond over foil in the Elizabethan manner and the stone is held between two finely enamelled swans, the Isham’s heraldic supporters, linked to the shank by an heraldic torse and mantelling.

See: Osman, An exhibition at Canons Ashby, May 1974, cat no 104 and 116.