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

10 comments.

Don

Comment on November 6th, 2008.

Well done Cam!!! Can’t wait to see you at work. Love the website. Very exiting!

guennadi.com

Comment on November 6th, 2008.

Nice web site.

Cam

Comment on November 6th, 2008.

I will give you the number of my web designer, for a fee.

sojourner

Comment on November 6th, 2008.

I am so excited for you! Don’t you just love the way stories of our past write the narratives of our future! The voices of generations past reverberate within our hearts pushing us forward to make a print in other’s lives. Didn’t it feel surreal to have walked into that shop as the proprietors words continued to reverberated throughout the shop like the breath of your forefathers—Harris and Sons……. I love the picture that must paint for you :0)

jamie

Comment on November 6th, 2008.

Good on you Cam. Exciting stuff. Guennadi did a nice job on the web site too :)

the Hoppies

Comment on November 7th, 2008.

How exciting, Cam.
Fantastic website and beautiful silver designs!
Keep up the great work.
Love from the Hills

Broady

Comment on November 7th, 2008.

Looks like the old silver game was a pretty serious business in the 30′s!

Cam

Comment on November 7th, 2008.

I am praying for revival.

rat

Comment on November 7th, 2008.

Grandma white’s still got some the old harris &son spoons at home in koji. i can get photos of them if you like.

rat

Amanda

Comment on November 11th, 2008.

Awesome, Cam! How exciting!

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