13 April 2017

Treasure House, 19–21 Hatton Garden

This is one of those 'how did I never see this before now?" moments...
Hatton Garden has for many centuries been London's "Jewellery Quarter" – the place to buy and/or trade in gold, silver, precious gems and diamonds.
In the early 1980s I used to work just around the corner within a grubby inner courtyard off Greville Street called Bleeding Heart Yard (before anyone knew where that was) and at lunchtime I'd find bargains in Leather Lane market (when there was a much greater variety of goods for sale) or I'd just go for a wander about and go back to work with something tasty from Grodzinki's Bakery.
So how come I had never noticed the panels above 19-21 Hatton Garden until last month?! Jeez! I even used to drink often in the Mitre which is accessed through an alley a few doors along from this building!


Treasure House (1906) has Art Nouveau styling on the doors with panels above depicting the story of gold from its ore to being a wearable item, though they don't appear to be in a chronological order and all the figures are muscular and godlike and hence shown naked whether mining or just admiring their own reflection. Perhaps having spent all the money on gold they can't afford clothes?!
I have tried looking for the name of the company who was originally here but so far not found anything, though I did find some info Ornamental Passions here. If you do know more, please do let me know

5 comments:

  1. Coincidentally, I led my Sunday morning walking group past this building a couple of weeks ago! We also saw The Mitre and Bleeding Heart Yard (where the daughter of Sir Christopher Hatton - after whom Hatton Garden was named - was found murdered). Ely place which Mitre Court leads too is worth seeing as well.
    I was thinking of writing a Blog about Treasure House myself. I love those carvings?
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s recondite Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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  2. Blog it and then post the link here ... I love it when other people do all the work ;-)

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  3. The Treasure House was commissioned in 1906, completed in 1907 by David Stewart Dawson, founder of Stewart Dawson Jewellers (1849-1932). He started business in Liverpool in the mid-1870s, selling watches by mail order. In the '80s he opened his first retail branches in Australia and New Zealand, where he became a household name for quality and service. He imported much of his stock from London, where he maintained an administrative HQ at 20 Hatton Garden. It was this site that he had developed to build The Treasure House. It was very advanced for the time, with electric lifts, showrooms and a whole floor set aside as a customers' lounge. He later opened a shop on Regent Street but at the end of WW1 he withdrew from the UK business and spent the remainder of his life in Sydney, having moved very successfully into real estate. He died a billionaire in today's values.

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  4. Dear Geoff, thank you so much for taking the time to add this information. Wow, what an entrepreneur. I love hearing about these smaller companies and lesser-known individuals who had such amazing innovative features within their establishments... it's not all bout the big boys like Mr Selfridge etc. Thanks again.

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