The Private Collections of The Birmingham Assay Office at Christmas
The Assay Office is opening the doors to its important private collections this Christmas.
Dip into the history of this 245-year-old organisation; admire significant silver pieces dating from the 1770’s to the 21st Century and marvel at the entrepreneurial spirit of Matthew Boulton whose tenacity and lobbying led to the founding of the Assay Office in 1773.
Some key ledgers and artefacts will be on display alongside important books illustrating the relationship of the Assay Office with other significant institutions such as the School of Jewellery
Birmingham Assay Office has been at the heart of the Jewellery industry and the local business community for 245 years. The business is proud of its heritage but recognises that it will not guarantee its future. It continues to innovate and evolve to keep pace with a changing market and remain commercially viable.
Diversification since 2000 rendered the Victorian Assay Office building on Newhall Street no longer fit for purpose and in 2015 the organisation moved to a brand-new purpose-built Office on Icknield Street. The impressive building demonstrates continued confidence in and commitment to Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter. The foyer boasts the fabulous Guardian Timepiece – created by a unique collaboration between Birmingham’s most gifted metalworkers and academics. This stunning 21st century piece embraces art and science and celebrates the enduring innovation, creativity and skill for which the Jewellery Quarter is so famous.
The Assay Office building and Private Collections are not open to the public, so this is a rare opportunity to glimpse a snapshot of the historic institution.