Robert Pringle and Sons (London) Ltd

Scope and Content

The majority of the collection comprises sales catalogues and price lists (c1870-1936, incomplete; 1953), many of which contain detailed product illustrations.

Also included are: two commemorative publications (centenary booklet, 1935 & photographic study, 1939); illustrations of Pringle premises; photographs of Pringle family members; photographs from the centenary publication; published material, including advertisements.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Pringle (1800-1875) was apprenticed to a jeweller in Perth, Scotland, at the age of 13. Following his apprenticeship, he moved to London in 1820 and continued to work at his trade. In 1835, he established a workshop as a manufacturing jeweller at a private house in Amwell Street, Clerkenwell, employing between six and twelve men.

By 1868, Pringle had moved to open a shop at 21 Wilderness Row. He died in 1875 and his son, also Robert Pringle, took over the business. Previously known as Robert Pringle & Co, the company became Robert Pringle & Son in 1882 and Robert Pringle & Sons in 1899.

By 1881, 21 Wilderness Row had become 42 Clerkenwell Road. The premises were rebuilt and named as the 'Wilderness Works'. Over the following decades, the business expanded to substantial premises incorporating 36-42 Clerkenwell Road and 17-20 Great Sutton Street. The company produced an increasingly wide range of products, including watches, clocks, fancy silver goods, glassware, electro plated goods and optical items for domestic customers and export.

The business became a limited liability company, Robert Pringle & Sons (London) Limited, on 1 Jan 1931. It was last listed in trade directories in 1967.

Access Information

Open for consultation by appointment.

Acquisition Information

The collection was deposited with Finsbury Libraries in September 1967 by Robert Pringle of Robert Pringle & Sons Ltd.

Other Finding Aids

A box list for this material is available at Islington Local History Centre.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying is carried out at the discretion of staff, depending on the condition of the materials and according to the Local History Centre's photocopying policy, which is available on request. No photographs over 50 years old and no material over 100 years old may be copied. Copies of material still in copyright can be supplied for research use only. Written permission must be obtained from the archivist to publish or reproduce any material held in the Local History Centre. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearance from the copyright holder.

Custodial History

The collection has previously been split up, with items added to various areas of the local history collection. The material was regrouped as a single collection during recataloguing in 2011.


Further accruals may be received in due course.

Geographical Names