At the sign of the Falcon: The Life and Works of Harry Murphy - Goldsmith, Silversmith and Unique Englishman

by John Benjamin

April 26th

At the sign of the Falcon: The Life and Works of Harry Murphy - Goldsmith, Silversmith and Unique Englishman

H G Murphy’s greatest misfortune was to die just before the start of the Second World War. The designs and inspirations of the pre-war era were simply seen as passé and totally out of keeping with the new spirit of modernism which quickly grew after the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Harry Murphy served his apprenticeship under Henry Wilson, probably Britain’s greatest designer goldsmith of the Arts and Crafts era. From 1928 until his death in 1939 he worked from retail premises in Marylebone, London, known as the Falcon Studio where he designed and created a prodigious amount of silverware for the corporate, civic and private sectors as well as some truly startling gold, silver and enamel jewellery inspired by nature, architecture, the Ballet Russes and the vibrancy of the Jazz Age.

English Silver Covered Box by Henry George Murphy, London, 1936, Falcon Studio

John Benjamin


John Benjamin is a jewellery historian, lecturer, author and broadcaster. Formerly International Director of Jewellery at Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers, since 1999 he has been an independent jewellery consultant on behalf of the private client network. John is well-known from his appearances over 30 years on BBC Television’s ever-popular Antiques Roadshow. He is a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company, a Court Assistant and Founder Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars and in 2021 was appointed Honorary Jewellery Adviser to the National Trust.

Image credit: Wikipedia Public domain