The Return of Harris & Son

Posted on November 6th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

Yesterday, I was sitting in my workshop wondering what to do. I have had a frustrating few weeks just waiting for things I need to be able to launch the silver business properly. So I decided to go for a walk around the jewellery retail stores around Perth city to do some ‘market research’. My Aunty gave me the tip-off the other week that there was a piece of jewellery in one of the antique stores in Perth made by Grandpa, so I thought I would go and have a look.

I wandered into the shop and browsed the silver spoon collection. There were a few Harris & Son items that Grandpa would have made back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. There was a lady behind the counter and a gentleman sitting down next to the counter, and they asked me if I was looking for anything in particular.

“I was just interested in the Harris & Son items” I said. The attendant’s face lit up.
“Really, we were just talking about Harris & Son just before you walked in! I have just wrapped up a Harris & Son brooch that will be sent to the National Gallery in Canberra this week for their collection”, she exclaimed.

I introduced myself and told her that I was the new owner of the business – her jaw dropped, she was very excited. The next half and hour or so we spent talking about the history and what I was planning to do with the business now in the re-launch. She asked me to get as many photos and as much information as I could so that she could send it to the National Gallery with the brooch.

I went straight to the State Library where I knew there was a taped interview with Grandpa from 1985 with a transcript. I found out there were six tapes and a 200 page transcript on the early years of the jewellery trade in Perth. I started to photocopy but then just read through it as I was running out of time. Tales of gold theft, murders, early jewellers and life in the early 1900’s – it made for very interesting reading and I could hear my Grandpa’s voice clearly as I read the transcript.
So in the last 24 hours or so, it has been a mad rush to get as much information to them as possible and my mind has been ticking over with ideas of collecting the history and publishing it.

I have contacted many previous customers to let them know that the initial website is up and running, prior to the official launch in December/January. I am working on some designs for the Fourth Generation Collection but I am still waiting on some casts to come back from Sydney. I will be putting them up over the next month or so. The website is at www.harrisandson.com.au

workshopthree_21.jpg
Great Grandpa, Del, Grandpa Harris. Central Arcade, Perth. Circa 1930′s

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