We are selling stock from the closure of the renowned Searle & Co. store in London’s Royal Exchange.
The intriguing store, which offered bespoke pieces with over 125-years’ experience in London, announced its closure earlier this year.
The Stock and the Auctions
Stock in the form of jewellery, silver, watches and collectables will be sold from the premises, often described as “Aladdin’s cave”, across our upcoming auctions.
Established in 1893, Searle & Co. were based in their shop at the Royal Exchange for nearly 100 years.
The long-running family business sold jewellery, watches and silverware. They were out of bespoke shop cabinets that felt more like a cabinet of curiosities than a retail premises.
The store opened in 1933 and recently created bespoke pieces include beautifully designed diamond and silver animal models. Moreover, enamel and gem-set badges for livery companies, bespoke silverware and engagement rings are also examples of items by Searle & Co.
The business, which announced its closure in the summer, is entering to auction remaining items from its inventory. These pieces will be spread across a variety of live and timed auctions in September and October, including the Antiques, Silver & Collectables and Jewellery auctions.
We are offering free shipping on the purchase of these items, subject to terms.
Nicola Whittaker, Business Development Manager at Fellows Auctioneers, said:
“We are in an extremely privileged position to be offering the final stock from Searle & Company. The company have been established for 128 years and the store is distinct and personal to the business.
“The stock will be spread across our September and October auctions which will consist of jewellery, watches, antiques and more. I have no doubt that the stock will add to our already-popular auctions and will be highly coveted.”
Nigel Bird, Managing Director of Searle & Co., said:
“I started working at the store when I was 17-years-old. In the last 40 years the company has developed in leaps and bounds but the store itself remained very similar – hardly anything changed and it still had a traditional, authentic feel when you visited.
“Some of my favourite bespoke pieces that we have sold are very recent. We have sold many animal models which are brilliantly detailed, including one of a ram where the individual who carved it actually went into a field to study. Moreover, some of the engagement rings have also been very popular, as have other pieces to mark a theme for a customer.
“I hope the stock will be popular at Fellows’ auctions and they receive lots of bids. I will be keeping a keen eye and I’m looking forward to seeing how the auctions go.”
The Early Days of Searle & Company
Searle & Co. was founded in 1893 by Walter Henry Searle. Goods by several trade suppliers supported the company in the early days. In 1907, just 14 years after the founding of the business and whilst W.H Searle had a partnership with Frank and Arthur Borlaise Eady – change was already on the horizon.
Difficulties became evident which lead to the downfall and the subsequent end of the partnership.
It was shortly after this that Joe Bird (1871 – 1950) – the great grandfather of Nigel – took over the business. Joe, nicknamed the “Father of the Company” – oversaw the running of the company for 40 Years.
Joe led the company during the First World War and the chaos of the 1920s. The general strike of 1926 and the Wall St. Crash a few years later posed significant problems. However, Searle & Co. remarkably remained stable throughout this period.
London’s Royal Exchange became the location of Searle & Company’s new store in 1933. The Bird family’s new store displayed fashionable features for that time whilst also holding classic values which stretched back to the Victorian era.
Members of the bird family were too old for military service so the outbreak of the Second World War didn’t have too much of an impact on staffing.
Joe subsequently continued to run the company until his death in 1950. Then a new era began.
Geoffrey, the son of Joe, took over the running of the company until he passed in 1968. There was then a temporary halt in the Bird family running the business for a few decades. The company had to be lead through difficulties such as the Wall Street crisis of 1969.
Nigel, the current Managing Director, started working at the store in 1978. Initially packing parcels and making tea, Nigel went on to run the company up until the present day.
Recent bespoke sales at Searle & Co. include a brilliantly-designed Livery Company Badge and cuff links. Moreover, elegant signet rings and pendants have been highly desired.
The company’s famous “Aladdin’s cave” Royal Exchange store will always be remembered as a treasure in the city of London.