Sciens Capital and Plainfield Asset Management
Asprey is a British luxury brand with a heritage that dates back to 1781. The brand offers an extensive range of gifts, jewellery, watches, leather, silver, bone china, crystal and rare books, all available in its flagship New Bond Street store. Asprey was once the destination for crowns, coronets and sceptres for royal families around the world. This tradition of offering craftsmanship, quality and design Royal Warrant is by appointment to H.R.H The Prince of Wales.
Asprey was founded in 1781 in Mitcham, South London. It was here that William Asprey established a silk printing business. William’s son Charles and his grandson, also Charles, expanded the business into the metallic arts. In 1841 the elder Charles went into partnership with a London stationer located on Bond Street. In 1847 the Asprey family broke with their partner and moved into 167 New Bond Street, the premises Asprey occupies today.
Asprey advertised “articles of exclusive design and high quality, whether for personal adornment or personal accompaniment and to endow with richness and beauty the tables and homes of people of refinement and discernment.” An early speciality was dressing cases. Asprey not only made superlative traditional cases, they reconceived the category, creating new, more portable designs, especially in leather, suitable for the new style of travel ushered in by railways.
The company consolidated its position through shrewd acquisitions. In 1859 Asprey absorbed Edwards, an award winning maker of dressing cases and holder of a Royal Warrant. The company purchased the Alfred Club at 22 Albemarle Street, which backed on to the New Bond Street store and meant that Asprey now had entrances on two of London’s most fashionable streets. Asprey established its reputation as the premier maker of luxury goods by winning a gold medal for its dressing cases at the International Exhibition of 1862. In the same year Asprey was granted a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria.
Throughout the nineteenth century business flourished and another Royal Warrant was granted by the Prince of Wales – later to be crowned Edward VII, who remained an important and enthusiastic client of Asprey. Patronage came not just from the British royal family and aristocracy but foreign royalty and dignitaries who would visit the store while in London. At the time of Edward VII’s funeral an Asprey member of staff remembered “practically all the ruling heads of state were there, and many of them came to Asprey. You might have seen three or four of them at one time.”
During the 20th century Asprey grew considerably as the company acquired new manufacturing facilities and hired the finest silversmiths, goldsmiths, jewellers and watchmakers. Asprey employed the finest craftsmen, including Ernest Betjeman, the father of the distinguished poet John Betjeman, and one of the most highly regarded designers of his day.
Exciting developments are taking place at Asprey; it continues to celebrate the best in craftsmanship, design and materials to offer its clients objects to treasure. Expert jewellery designers, steeped in Asprey’s individualistic British style, working with the finest gems, have given Asprey its unrivaled reputation. The elegant new Asprey designs represent a continuation of a great tradition, blending experience with a spirit of artistic adventure to take the craft forward.
In leather, silver, china, glass and everything for the home there are new collections and pioneering designs. As ever, each Asprey product will be made with the most exacting craftsmanship from the finest materials.
Luxurious pieces of individualistic British style and craftsmanship.