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TITLE
John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (26 of 39)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_SILVERSMITH_26
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
John Fraser
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2251
KEYWORDS
jewellery
jewelry
craftsman
craftsmen
metalwork
silversmiths
rings
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 recalls how the hand-made ring died out. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Luckenbooth brooch, sometimes known as a 'Mary' brooch because of the 'M' shape formed at the top of the heart. Luckenbooths were often worn as protective tokens. They took their name from the jewellery sold in the 'locked booths' in Edinburgh. Inverness had its own style, with loops known as 'double spectacles'.

'Then it became very much more sophisticated in the sense that you could send off engagement ring patterns, dress ring patterns, and you could get the whole thing - claws, the lot done - and all you had to do was just put it into the hands of a setter. So that the hand-made ring gradually went out and what really we arrived at was that if you wanted a hand-made ring today, you'd have to find somebody to make it and it would cost you a hundred pound. Whereas, in those days, going back twenty, thirty years ago, a hand-made ring could be made for perhaps as low as twenty five pound, thirty pound and that would be an excellent job'

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John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (26 of 39)

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1970s

jewellery; jewelry; craftsman; craftsmen; metalwork; silversmiths; rings; 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 recalls how the hand-made ring died out. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Luckenbooth brooch, sometimes known as a 'Mary' brooch because of the 'M' shape formed at the top of the heart. Luckenbooths were often worn as protective tokens. They took their name from the jewellery sold in the 'locked booths' in Edinburgh. Inverness had its own style, with loops known as 'double spectacles'.<br /> <br /> 'Then it became very much more sophisticated in the sense that you could send off engagement ring patterns, dress ring patterns, and you could get the whole thing - claws, the lot done - and all you had to do was just put it into the hands of a setter. So that the hand-made ring gradually went out and what really we arrived at was that if you wanted a hand-made ring today, you'd have to find somebody to make it and it would cost you a hundred pound. Whereas, in those days, going back twenty, thirty years ago, a hand-made ring could be made for perhaps as low as twenty five pound, thirty pound and that would be an excellent job'