Pure Brilliance: The Boodles Story opens at the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, today (22 October 2022) and will run throughout the gallery’s 100th anniversary year, until 5 March 2023.
Stunning pieces of historic jewellery and racing trophies made by Boodles will illustrate the history of the firm.
The company’s rise from city jeweller to the pinnacle of high-end design and manufacture will be shown through the dazzling and contemporary jewellery on display.
Chair of National Museums Liverpool, Sir David Henshaw, invited Boodles to be part of the Lady Lever Art Gallery’s 100th anniversary year.
The exhibition will showcase the jewellery brand’s 225-year story and show how Liverpool has helped shape the company’s growth, from much-loved family jeweller to purveyors of some of the most stunning jewels in the world.
Alyson Pollard, Head of the Lady Lever Art Gallery said, “Each jewellery piece is really a unique work of art. As a celebration of beauty, the exhibition features examples of work by 19th-century Liverpool jewellery makers as well as jewellery by Boodles.
“The exhibition will show how this Liverpool family firm, previously known for many years as Boodle and Dunthorne, became a world-leading brand. The jewellery on display will be luxurious and the intricacies of jewellery design and manufacture can be explored. It’s going to be dazzling.”
The exhibition is an opportunity to get close to some of the most luxurious jewellery in the world, created by a family firm which still has its flagship store in Liverpool today. The skill, creativity and craftsmanship of the jewellery on display is of the highest quality.
birkenhead.news spoke to cousins James Amos and Honour Wainwright, who are part of the family team that own and operate Boodles.
Honour Wainwright is the sixth generation of the family to be involved with the business. She told us, “Visitors to the exhibition can expect a total run-through of the Boodles story and to see artefacts like the Grand National trophies and the Greenfire necklace, which Helen Mirren wore in the film Fast and Furious.”
Honour continued, “There are also lots of our icon pieces, such as our Raindance ring, which is probably our best seller and our most iconic Boodles piece, to new collections like our Beach collection, which launched at the end of last year.”
On the process of staging the exhibition, Boodles Director, James Amos, said, “It’s been a fascinating journey of discovery for us, not just as a business, but as a family as well.
“It’s been a two-year process in the planning from late 2020 until now,” James explained. “There’s a nice coincidence that during the time of the exhibition, it will be Boodles’ 225th anniversary.”
“We’ve discovered long-lost relations living in New York, one of whom is coming over for the launch party, and she’s loaned two very interesting pieces from to the exhibition; one, a clock that was made by our great-great-grandfather, Henry Wainwright.
“Another item she has loaned is a Dead Man’s Penny [in honour of Harold Wainwright], which was given to the families of soldiers who were killed in the First World War.
“The project has taken us all around the world, and we’ve spoken to lots of customers that we haven’t necessarily been in touch with a number of decades who own pieces of jewellery that we sold a while back, so it’s been it’s been a lovely project for us!”
Boodles has stores In Liverpool, Manchester, Chester, Dublin, and Leeds. There are also five stores in London, at Bond Street, Harrods, Sloane Street, Royal Exchange, and the Savoy.
Pure Brilliance: The Boodles Story is at The Lady Lever Art Gallery, Portsunlight and runs from 22 October 2022 until 5 March 2023.
Whilst entry to the exhibition is free, Boodles is asking visitors to consider making a donation to the Lady Lever Art Gallery.
Main image, James Amos and Honour Wainwright – Credit: www.fotopiaimages.com
All other images as credited