Edward Barnard and Sons Ltd, manufacturing silversmiths, records

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Corporate records (1910-1950s); financial records (1805-2002); order books and stockbooks (1818-1979); designs and patterns (ca.1800-19lient accounts ledgers (1805 - 1937); pattern books and stock lists (1808 - 1847); day books (1818 - 1944); stock books of production by object type (1828 - 1950); balance sheets (1846 - 1899); glass negatives of silver (ca.1850 - 1940); customer index books (1867 - 1899); accounts and stocktaking ledgers (1881 - 1941); wages books (1885 - 1940); cost and estimate ledgers (1890 - 1951); members and shares register (1910 - 1917); order books for servicing agents (1910 - 1934); factory silver supply account books (1912 - 1950); production order books (1916 - 1955); town ledgers (1917 - 1957); letter books (1922 - 1925); purchase books (1922 - 1953)

Administrative / Biographical History

The firm of Edward Barnard & Sons traced its origin back to Anthony Nelme (d. 1722) who established a silversmithing firm at Ave Maria Lane, in London, ca.1680. His son, Francis Nelme, took over the business on his death in 1722 and continued to run it until 1739 when Thomas Whipham (d. 1756) took over. On his death his son Thomas Whipham went into partnership with Charles Wright. In 1775 Whipham withdrew from the business and in 1786 Charles Wright amalgamated the firm with neighbouring silversmith Thomas Chawner and his son Henry Chawner. Thomas Chawner was the master of Edward Barnard (d. 1855) and on the amalgamation Edward Barnard became the foreman of the company. In 1796 Chawner took an engraver, John Emes, into partnership and when he retired Emes became the sole owner and Edward Barnard became the firm's manager. On Emes' death in 1808 Edward Barnard went into partnership with the widowed Rebecca Emes and Henry Chawner who acted as a sleeping partner. The firm traded as Emes & Barnard. Rebecca Emes withdrew from the business in 1829 and Edward Barnard became the proprietor together with his sons Edward Barnard (d. 1868), John Barnard and William Barnard (d. 1851), trading under the name Edward Barnard & Sons.

In 1838 the firm moved to new factory premises in Angel Street, London and in 1898 it again moved to Fetter Lane, London. It was a skilful and knowledgeable exponent of the Neoclassical and revived Rococo style and later traded mostly on an understanding of historicist form and ornament rather than producing contemporary twentieth century styles. The demand for military, sporting, presentation, ecclesiastical and municipal silver ware, of which Barnard's were a key producer, required this expertise in styles of the past. The company's clients included Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, Elkington & Co., Garrard & Co. and the Goldsmiths' Company. Edward Barnard & Sons became a limited company in 1910. From 1914 to 1924 the company also owned a factory in Northampton Street, Birmingham. In 1919 the company moved its London premises temporarily to Stonecutter Street, Farringdon Road before moving to Hatton Garden in 1920. In 1977 Edward Barnard & Sons Ltd became a subsidiary of Padgett & Braham Ltd and moved to Shacklewell Road in Hackney in 1991. The firm closed in 2003.

Conditions Governing Access

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/.

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Given by Edward Barnard and Sons Ltd, 1979, AAD/1979/7.

Transferred from V&A Department of Metalwork, 1988, AAD/1988/5.

Given by Shirley Bury, 2006, AAD/2006/3.

Given by Padgett and Braham, 2009, AAD/2009/8.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/.