A brooch with remarkable links to Liverpool history has been discovered by Wilson 55 Auctions. This Liver Bird brooch was formerly owned by a Lady Mayoress of Liverpool. Inherited by our vendor, this fantastic piece created by Alabaster & Wilson sold in our June Fine Jewellery & Watches Sale for £2,196.
Above: Miss Margaret Hall, Lady Mayoress of Liverpool 1935-6.
Miss Margaret Hall was the daughter of the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Robert John Hall. From 1935-6, she was the Lady Mayoress of the city. With a clear affinity to the city that she served for that year, this Liver Bird brooch was commissioned following her stint as Lady Mayoress of Liverpool. Realistically cast in a beautiful bi-colour design, this historical piece was designed by leading Birmingham jewellers Alabaster & Wilson and retailed by Boodle & Dunthorne. Our brooch is hallmarked for 1943, and appears to have been commissioned as a bespoke order for Margaret Hall, still with its original box. In keeping with restrictions placed on manufacturers during World War Two and for the following years, the piece is modelled in 9ct gold.
As seen in the images of original sketches kindly provided on behalf of Alabaster & Wilson, Liver Bird brooches were produced nearly ten years following this first piece, from 1952 onwards, to be stocked and sold by Boodle & Dunthorne.
Above: Alabaster & Wilson sketches presented to Boodle & Dunthorne in the 1950s, used with kind permission of Alabaster & Wilson.
These later sketches by Bernard Howell display a variety in the design, with enamel, ruby and monogram detailing. Perhaps following this order by Margaret, through the 1950s it was decided to present similar pieces to other retirees, Mayoresses or even wives of Mayors. The variations in patterns offer a fascinating insight into the design process, and personalisation of the Liver Bird brooch.
A unique, historical and trailblazing piece used to commemorate a year of service to Liverpool, this fascinating brooch will be offered for sale on Thursday 17th June. For further information contact Liz Bailey MA FGA DGA via email@example.com.
Our Fine Jewellery & Watches Sale will take place on Thursday 17th June at 2pm. Viewing for the sale will take place by appointment from 14th-17th June.
For further information, or to get a free auction valuation of your own items contact Liz Bailey MA FGA DGA via firstname.lastname@example.org.