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TITLE
John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (7 of 39)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_SILVERSMITH_07
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
John Fraser
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2225
KEYWORDS
jewellery
jewelry
craftsman
craftsmen
metalwork
silversmiths
audio

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John Fraser, an Inverness silversmith, served his apprenticeship in the 1930s with Medlock and Craik, watchmakers and jewellers at 6 Bridge Street, Inverness. The firm later had premises in Exchange Place, and Queensgate.

In this audio extract from the 1970s, Mr Fraser lists the various types of silver objects that were made back in his apprenticeship days. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of John Fraser's silver hallmark.

'We used to do sporran tops, dirks, skean dhus, spoons - various types of spoons - but the main part of the product-, production in those days was brooches, pendants. We didn't make a lot of rings. We made, odd times we made dress rings and Celtic rings, a lot of Celtic rings. You know, you could make things like photo frames if you had to make them. There's lots of things that you made in those days where you did mounting; you got a lot of sticks in for mounting, you know, it was a very popular thing. It was just beginning to go out but it was still popular at that time. Eh, pipes were a thing that we did quite a lot of where you did ferrules - people coming in with a broken Meerschaum pipe, you know. Anybody coming in with a thing like that today, you sort of look at them horrified, you know, and say to them 'Och, go down the street and you can buy another one'. You know, when you did a full mounting on a thing like the ram's head, you know, for the window - that was a special piece. That's the type of thing I think today would really cause a tremendous amount of appreciation but in those days it was an accepted thing, because you could go from one jeweller to the other and each one tried to vie with the other in what he presented in his window. And you very often got things that they made in those days and they only made it for display. For instance, they might make a special dirk. They would make copies of swords, regimental swords, with the basket hilt - that was a thing that was made quite often in those days. Twenty four inches long. There was two or three sizes. It's a thing that would be used for presentation. They would have a case made for it as well. But very often these things were made - and the same thing pertains today in my own workshop as it did in those days - you didn't like selling them. They took so long to make that you kept them really for prestige purposes'

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John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (7 of 39)

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1970s

jewellery; jewelry; craftsman; craftsmen; metalwork; silversmiths; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: John Fraser, Silversmith

John Fraser, an Inverness silversmith, served his apprenticeship in the 1930s with Medlock and Craik, watchmakers and jewellers at 6 Bridge Street, Inverness. The firm later had premises in Exchange Place, and Queensgate. <br /> <br /> In this audio extract from the 1970s, Mr Fraser lists the various types of silver objects that were made back in his apprenticeship days. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of John Fraser's silver hallmark.<br /> <br /> 'We used to do sporran tops, dirks, skean dhus, spoons - various types of spoons - but the main part of the product-, production in those days was brooches, pendants. We didn't make a lot of rings. We made, odd times we made dress rings and Celtic rings, a lot of Celtic rings. You know, you could make things like photo frames if you had to make them. There's lots of things that you made in those days where you did mounting; you got a lot of sticks in for mounting, you know, it was a very popular thing. It was just beginning to go out but it was still popular at that time. Eh, pipes were a thing that we did quite a lot of where you did ferrules - people coming in with a broken Meerschaum pipe, you know. Anybody coming in with a thing like that today, you sort of look at them horrified, you know, and say to them 'Och, go down the street and you can buy another one'. You know, when you did a full mounting on a thing like the ram's head, you know, for the window - that was a special piece. That's the type of thing I think today would really cause a tremendous amount of appreciation but in those days it was an accepted thing, because you could go from one jeweller to the other and each one tried to vie with the other in what he presented in his window. And you very often got things that they made in those days and they only made it for display. For instance, they might make a special dirk. They would make copies of swords, regimental swords, with the basket hilt - that was a thing that was made quite often in those days. Twenty four inches long. There was two or three sizes. It's a thing that would be used for presentation. They would have a case made for it as well. But very often these things were made - and the same thing pertains today in my own workshop as it did in those days - you didn't like selling them. They took so long to make that you kept them really for prestige purposes'