Padgett and Braham Ltd., manufacturing silversmiths : records

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive includes documentation from the firms of the Padgett and Braham group; J. Braham Ltd, C.H. Dumenil, Wakely and Wheeler, Pairpoint and Sons, the Flute Makers' Guild, W.H. Manton, Monarch Shield Ltd and H. Aston Ltd.

Administrative / Biographical History

Stanley Padgett ( 1897 - 1986 ) was an entrepreneur with a family background in the jewellery and silversmith trade who, at the age of 25, bought his first business J. Braham Ltd with a bank loan of £100. It employed three silversmiths and one polisher to make silver cigarette cases. Mr Padgett went on to acquire more firms between the 1930s and 1960s; the silversmiths C.H. Dumenil in 1938, the well known and long established silversmiths Wakely and Wheeler in 1957, the gilders and platers Pairpoint and Sons in 1963 and the Flute Makers' Guild and the Birmingham silversmiths W.H. Manton in 1964. Monarch Shield Ltd, the company which introduced a tarnish free silver protection to the UK, was added in 1966. By this date the company had over 70 employees. A contemporary article about the firm stated that "since the war, Mr Padgett has been collecting craftsmen - his aim being to assemble under one roof the most skilled teams of experts available." The Birmingham gold wedding ring specialists H. Aston joined the business in 1969 and Stanley Padgett's son John Padgett continued this tradition adding Edward Barnard and Sons to the business in 1977. The insignia workshop was taken over from Garrards in the 1980s. The shrinking market for commercially produced silver led to the diminution of the trade and the business finally closed in 2006.

Arrangement

The archive is arranged under broad categories: Financial, Operational, Research and Development, Staffing records, Corporate correspondence, Premises and Property records, Padgett family history. The companies are not separated out in the arrangement of records but are identified where known.

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 Padgett and Braham Ltd., 2006

Conditions Governing Use

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

Related Material

Archives associated with Edward Barnard and Sons Ltd, part of the Padgett and Braham group from 1977, are listed separately as part of AAD/1979/7 : AAD/1988/5 : AAD/2006/3/1 : AAD/ 2009/8.