A family jewellery firm which has supplied the likes of the Sultan of Brunei, Roman Abramovich and Lewis Hamilton has celebrated 125 years in business.
Alabaster & Wilson was founded by Arthur Alabaster and Thomas Wilson on Vyse Street, Birmingham, in the same year as the British Jewellers’ Association, and also Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.
The company made the move to 9-11 Legge Lane, Jewellery Quarter, three years later in 1890 and since 1983 has been run by Arthur’s great grandsons, Paul and Stephen, and great granddaughter, Wendy.
Over the last 125 years Alabaster & Wilson has manufactured high quality products for many of the UK’s leading jewellers and also exports across Europe, the USA and Australia.
It has also supplied exclusive pieces for the British Royal Family, the Sultan of Brunei, along with Roman Abramovich and Eric Clapton, the British Racing Drivers’ Club and Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
The company is also the among leading jewellery suppliers to the horse racing world.
Today the firm employs 11 people, many of whom have been with the company for their whole careers, and still hand makes many of the products from its onsite factory.
Stephen Alabaster said: “We’re really proud to be celebrating this special anniversary and it is fitting the landmark has fallen in the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and also the Olympic Games returning to England.
“We’ve created a selection of specially designed jewellery to commemorate the events of our anniversary year, including a range of Diamond Jubilee inspired brooches and pendants and a flame for the 2012 range of enamelled cufflinks.
“The last three years have probably been the hardest since World War II when my grandfather ran the company and nearly all the workforce was called up for service.
“We are still very much here though in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter and continuing to work with some of the world’s leading jewellers.
“The method of production may have altered slightly over the years, but we pride ourselves on the hand craftsmanship which goes into each and every piece we make on site.”
Accountancy firm Chantrey Vellacott DFK has represented Alabaster & Wilson for the duration of the firm’s history and is supporting the company as it diversifies into new markets.
Paul Fenner, partner at Chantrey Vellacott DFK’s Birmingham office, said: “Alabaster & Wilson has epitomised top quality and craftsmanship in the manufacture of fine jewellery in Birmingham. We’re pleased to have worked with the Alabaster family for so long, and to be continuing our support as the company moves into different markets, while maintaining its position as one of England’s most well respected suppliers to the fine jewellery trade.”