Vases

One of the most versatile items in the JA Campbell range.

A vase is an ideal present for so many occasions, a birthday, a wedding, an anniversary or as a presentation piece. (Especially if engraved with a suitable message to remind the recipient of the sentiments expressed by family, friends or colleagues).

So many of the items we now sell are requested to be engraved.

A vase can be used in EVERY room in the house or at the office.

It can be used EVERYDAY of the year with either fresh, silk or dried arrangements to suit each season. Or even just look in your garden for inspiration.

On the JA Campbell website we change the pictures of both the silver and the silver & crystal vases to reflect the changing seasons.

Look out for Autumn ones any day now!

20 Medium Autumn med res

We offer two styles of vase, three with crystal bodies and a detachable silver base and three made entirely of sterling silver.

The choice is yours. Browse our website and order online or give us a call at anytime. We like to talk!!!

Al fresco is coming

An essential piece of the al fresco summer table is the stylish sterling silver and crystal salad bowl. The sterling silver salad servers seen in action during one of my recent evening meals complement the bowl perfectly. Still in the dining room at the moment- but I have high hopes for some warm summer weather to come soon!!

Salad bowl

You may wish to add other important items such as the sterling silver oil and vinegar set and the sterling silver salt and pepper mills not forgetting a sterling silver and crystal decanter for your chilled Chablis.

Enjoy the summer soon to come!

A serious consideration – to engrave – yes or no?

If the item is a present for say a wedding, a retirement, a christening, a birthday, even as a thank you then a short message is a must. Not a great long rambling story, just a few words and probably a date.

If you own a super yacht, hotel, restaurant or just an exceptional home you might like your family crest, logo or ship’s name engraved on said piece/s

If the piece is for your own personal use and enjoyment then the choice is yours – probably do not engrave.

Our engravers Stewart Morris for the silver and Richard and Monica for the crystal are all experts in their fields. They can advise and will bring to attention any spellings which they suspect are incorrect and advise on size, placement and layout of the engraving required. Both firms can re-draw (if necessary) from existing artwork into digital format.

Several items from JA Campbell are used as trophies and have been customised by engraving. Indeed we supplied Grand National trophies several years ago. The Zetland Gold Cup was made by JA Campbell.

Do not argue with your Dentist!

It has been an unusual week. A large corporate order for bespoke claret jugs has been disrupted by at least three events. A visit to my dentist, a repair/re-plating a large batch of salvers from a super yacht and a couple of old battered trophy cups.

Firstly the dentist, Stephan asked “did I make silver cufflinks?” No I replied. “Why not” says he? Well I have done in the past, I said, but only for friends and family. “What is it you require?” I questioned. “Two pairs of identical cufflinks – one set engraved with the initial “S “and one set engraved with the initial “A”.  When do you need them for I asked? “For the 27th just before I go to Dallas” replied Stephan. This gave me just one week to make them, have them hallmarked and hand engraved.

Well I guess you know the outcome? I delivered them yesterday on the 26th

Second distraction – 2 battered trophies, one quite a nice silver one a bearing the hallmark of jewellers Fattorini once quite an important jeweller in the North of England. This needed a good chemical clean, dents removed and a plinth supplied followed by a good polish. Not finished yet but looking good so far.

The second trophy cup and cover was silver plated and rather cheaply made and looked like it had been left out in a leaky barn for years. It was quite corroded. Now de- dented it is with the plater having a new coat of silver applied.

Third disruption – the salvers from the yacht, these are now also at the plater’s having a new coat of silver applied. Colin has made a super job of pre polishing them taking out all the scratches and dents – the Purser is sure to be delighted when they are returned in time for the summer season.

All this disruption while trying to get on with the important claret jug order, making sure the components and the materials are delivered on time and on quality. But I am certain the customer would not be best pleased if they had no trophies to give out on the days the tournament was being held so back to the grindstone for me.

Life is never dull!

Silver Tumbler Cups

It is really strange how things seem to go in cycles. I never can judge how certain items will sell. Even looking back at sales history data the patterns do not seem to be there.

The only one that is consistent is that things seem to come in groups. Take the current rush on silver tumbler cups!

Just after Christmas 2 sets sold, last week 2 medium sized ones, this week followed up by yet another sale, more questions and a viewing visit later in the week – all interested in tumbler cups. No connection between any of them.

However “ours is not to reason why” and I am just pleased that they are being appreciated.

It is an unusual item that comes in three sizes. The history is that since the reign of Charles 11, circa 1660, they have been very popular drinking cups. They have often been used as travelling sets, in canteens and before that on board ship, as they will rock but will not fall over. The reason for this is that they are thicker at the base.

Being gold plated inside this opens up the present buying opportunities to cover Silver and Golden weddings!

Really they are ideal for a present on any occasion and are highly suitable for engraving with names, dates, messages to mark the occasion and bring back happy memories for the recipient.

Have a look and see if you can think of an occasion coming up where you could give one or a set to someone you know. All sizes in stock as of today.

John Campbell

Master Silversmith 

Silver & Crystal Decanters

At this time of year one of the most popular items in our range are Silver & Crystal decanters.

At the main meal on Christmas day what could be better to really set off your table than by serving wine in one of our elegant decanters. There are a selection of shapes to choose from and even a double size one that holds two bottles of wine – the Magnum decanter– if you have a large number to serve. It saves time refilling the decanter.

Red wine, even white wine, definitely the after dinner port or sherry and all the spirits!!

All our decanters are in stock and there is still time to have one delivered in time for Christmas – as a present or for your own table.

JA Campbell Silversmiths – 24 hours a day – 7 days a week- we can take your order

Check out the selection now!!

Taste de Vin Galore!

It is my guess that this order for wine tasters was for a wine society, vineyard, wine wholesaler or something, otherwise who would need 20 taste de vin?

However it is better to wonder why than do or die (an old fashioned saying!)

Coincidentally my usual supplier Cookson Gold was out of stock of 1.2 mm sterling silver sheet so I was forced to use my second preferance, Argentium, an Italian producer with an office in Birmingham, England. No complaints, on time, on quality and even telephoned to ask if I wanted the plastic covering removed prior to circle cutting. This was a nice touch as it is tiresome to have to remove this from the circles prior to spinning. It seemed that the pressure from the circle cutter blades sticks the plastic on even better.

The beauty of big batches is that one always finds shortcuts in the making process that one does not find in small batches for example. The serpent handle casting needs to have all the surface contaminants and oxides removed from the soldering area. They also need to be fitted carefully to the spinning component. For small batches this is normally done with a “sage” file and it quite slow, tedious and slightly imperfect. With a large batch however it was worth setting up a small (4″) drum sander to do the same task as the file. This was both quick, perfect and made the soldering of the handle to the spun body a doddle.

The London Assay Office under the guidance of Terry Dak did a superb job of the hallmarking despite the fact that the bodies were sent in pre soldering ie without the handles attached and were therefore “hard” having not yet been annealed/softened in the soldering process. This makes the punching process more difficult.

NB Hard silver is much more impact resistant than soft annealed silver.

The job is now delivered on time and on quality. Another satisfied customer?

Keeping Silversmithing Simple!

The annual order for 2 flags on plinths came through as expected. Just to make life a little more difficult, they are not to be made from silver but base metal silver plated.

These flags are bent as though they are flying, necessitating the material to be malleable. Most brass (while good to engrave) is difficult to bend so gilding metal was chosen. This is quite difficult to obtain these days in small quantities so a piece was selected from stock. – 1.6mm thick.

This is to thick to bend by hand and was therefore rolled down to .6mm. What a job in itself!!!! It entailed 8 anneals to try to keep the material relatively flat.

The next step is to cut out the flag profile and polish and prepare for engraving.

After deep routed engraving with the competition logo and details, the flag blanks are bent to form the flying flag (not easy without spoiling the engraving and surface. Next the flag pole has the finial turned onto the top and is soldered onto the flag.

The unit is then sent for silver plating. While away being plated the wooden plinth and inscription plates are made, polished and assembled.

Finally the know silver plated flags are forced into the wooden plinths, the baize is glued in slots in the base and turned around the edge.

Job done – another pair of happy winners.

Supplied by JA Campbell Silversmiths

Sales upturn!

JA Campbell Silversmiths are experiencing a healthy upturn in sales since the start of 2013. This is a very welcome situation after a rather poor previous year.

An interesting recent sale was for two magnum decanters which are to be presented to the same gentleman in Scotland. They are in appreciation for the service he has given to his company for the last 50 years. Now that deserves some recognition.

It also says that this man must really like his wine, or has a large family as a magnum decanter holds two bottles of wine!!

A nice story and one that makes the day a little more interesting by speaking directly to our customers. Give us a ring and have a chat about the silver we make in Brentwood, England.

John Campbell

Master Silversmith

Silver Corporate Gifts

Often individuals, when given the task to buy a corporate gift or prize, forget silver. Maybe they believe it would be outside their budget, but not necessarily.

What has the best ‘wow’ factor when that box is opened. The gleaming silver trophy or the glass bowl?

Just look at the players faces and those at the award ceremony. Pleased with their win they are then delighted with the trophy. The same can be said about the retiring chairman.

If you have been given this task then look no further as JA Campbell Silversmiths have a range of products that would suit all the above occasions and more!

John Campbell