We’d like to introduce you to Bonds the Jeweller’s commercial side, bespoke jewellery makers Mallards. Mallards designs and creates quality sterling silver jewellery for heritage and visitor attractions, as well as commercial businesses.
The story of Mallards
Bonds’ founder Douglas Bond started making bespoke jewellery for visitor attractions back in 2004. This branch of the Bonds got off to a great start with Douglas crafting exclusive jewellery for Westminster Abbey! He began to gather more clients, and last year, gave this side of the business its own name and identity as Mallards. Mallards’ new website has just been launched, where you can find out more about the services and products.
Mallards’ current clients include the Houses of Parliament shop and the Royal Museums Greenwich; and Mallards continues to work with the shop at Westminster Abbey. Although Douglas specialises in heritage attractions, Mallards also designs unique items for commercial clients such as Princess Yachts and Cornish Tea. He also creates one-off pieces for individual customers.
Here are a few examples of Mallards’ recent work.
Greenwich pocket watch
Mallards worked with the shop at Royal Museums Greenwich to create this replica of an early 19th century pocket watch. It’s based on a watch in the National Maritime Museum’s collection, and was a piece of propaganda during the Napoleonic Wars. The beautifully detailed picture on the dial shows every 19th century Englishman’s worst nightmare: the French invading the south coast! Mallards meticulously recreated the original timepiece, but added a pair of black spade hands and a gold case to make it a more wearable watch for today’s market.
Fleur de lis necklace
Mallards designed this for Westminster Abbey’s gift shop; and it’s an example of how Douglas takes an architectural detail and turns it into an item of jewellery. The fleur de lis, one of the royal emblems of England, can be seen carved many times in the Abbey, especially in Henry VII’s Lady Chapel. Mallards have made several fleur de lis items, and this sterling silver pendant on a freshwater pearl necklace is particularly lovely. Pearls were very popular among Tudor ladies, so this is the perfect authentic combination.
Cross pendant for Westminster Abbey
Also for the Abbey’s shop, Mallards created this beautiful sterling silver cross pendant. This time, it’s based on a modern detail from the Abbey, Lady Margaret Beaufort’s altar cross which dates from the 1990s. It makes a beautiful piece of contemporary Christian jewellery.
Princess Yachts lapel pin
An example of a commission from a commercial client, Mallards made this neat little lapel pin for luxury yacht makers Princess Yachts. In terms of lifestyle brands, they don’t come much higher-end than luxury yacht producers, and every detail had to be perfect. The lapel pin is made from sterling silver, as is the butterfly clutch pin back - no plastic backs for Princess! Mallards also designed a bespoke gift box for Princess Yachts.
This was an unusual project, which Douglas worked on for a private client. His customer, a metal detectorist, found an old badge of Winston Churchill in a park in Plymouth, which was probably made for the legendary Prime Minister’s wartime visit to the badly-bombed city. Mallards’ role here was to produce a faithful replica from sterling silver. We think you’ll agree that it’s remarkably accurate!
Have a look at Mallards’ journal to find out about more projects and partners.
Working with Mallards
How does the Mallards team go about designing and making a bespoke piece of jewellery? Firstly, Douglas visits the attraction, and has a chat with the client, while taking inspiration from the building. The initial design is sketched out by hand or occasionally using CAD, and if the client likes it, a sample “master” is made. When this is signed-off, the design goes to Mallards’ workshops in Birmingham’s famous jewellery quarter to be made into a beautiful new range for the heritage attraction or business.
Mallards can also provide gift boxes; and if there’s a story behind the jewellery, they’ll produce a little information card to pop in the box.
The next step
If you manage a gift shop at an attraction, or need a corporate gift for your clients, please get in touch with Mallards. Douglas will have a chat with you, and arrange to visit you in your property or premises.