Necklace, case

1913 (made)

William Pick

Height: 75 mm pendant, Height: 182 mm necklace as worn, Width: 120 mm necklace as worn, Depth: 5 mm pendant, Height: 29 mm case, Width: 204 mm case, Depth: 136 mm case

M.220:1,2-2011 MET

Necklace of gold, opals, pearl and mother of pearl, designed by William Pick and made by Dryad Metal Works, Leicester, 1913. The beige fabric-covered case is lined with cream velvet and has a cream lid satin stamped in gold.

Gold openwork necklace with elaborate central pendant of swirling, foliate design set with four opals and hung with a long irregular pearl drop. Alternating panels of gold openwork form the necklace chain, the more linear of the two designs is set with a disc of mother of pearl. At the back the box clasp is set with a blister pearl. The pendant has a suspension loop allowing it to be worn separately from the chain. The curving triangular box is covered in beige fabric. Inside it has a cream velvet base and lid satin stamped 'DRYAD METAL WORK LEICESTER' in gold.

This fine Arts and Crafts necklace was made by William Pick of the Dryad Metal Works, Leicester in early 1913. It was a special order, placed by Basil Gimson (nephew of the Arts and Crafts architect and furniture designer Ernest Gimson) and intended for his bride, Alice Muriel Goodman, who wore it on their wedding day, 8 April 1913. Dryad Metal Works had been founded by entrepreneur Harry Peach and metalworker William Pick the previous year, and the warm relationship between the Gimson family and Dryad can be seen in the following extract from a letter Basil received from his mother in January 1913. She wrote 'This morning Sydney and I were at the Dryad talking to Mr Peach. He spoke of the gold necklace Mr Pick is making for Muriel. He said they had picked out some first rate opals for it. From his description it sounded like a very costly affair, so I said: "Oh, but there is a limit of price". "Yes, I know, but I have told Pick we are going to do this thing just tip top, the very best possible. It shall defy competition! Gimsons have been the very best customers we have ever had, and we are going to turn out something worth having!".'

The necklace was a present from Basil Gimson (nephew of the Arts and Crafts architect and furniture designer) to his bride Alice Muriel Goodman, and she wears it in the family photograph taken on her wedding day, 8 April 1913 (which was also her twenty-fourth birthday). A letter to Basil from his mother dated 18 January 1913 records 'This morning Sydney and I were at the Dryad talking to Mr Peach. He spoke of the gold necklace Mr Pick is making for Muriel. He said they had picked out some first rate opals for it. From his description it sounded like a very costly affair, so I said: "Oh, but there is a limit of price". "Yes, I know, but I have told Pick we are going to do this thing just tip top, the very best possible. It shall defy competition! Gimsons have been the very best customers we have ever had, and we are going to turn out something worth having!".'

Purchased through the generosity of Genevieve Davies

Location: Fashion, room 40, case CA8

View this object on the V&A website