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TITLE
John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (34 of 39)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_SILVERSMITH_34
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
John Fraser
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2263
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 recalls the close working relationship between the jeweller and the engraver. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a gold paperknife.

'Well, in the thirties, or say '35, '36, '37, during those times, you worked in a workshop with perhaps a watchmaker, a jeweller, and an engraver. All the engraving work was done in a separate unit, by itself. You had contact with the jeweller because the jeweller would make nothing unless the engraver did all the master patterns, the templates for making up in silver and even work that was done in gold. If you did presentation pieces like caskets, quaichs, salvers, you name it, even presidential jewels and stuff like that.

The engraver in those days always worked in very close relation with the jeweller because he had to do all the pattern work, all the templates, and then the jeweller cut the metal out. Then the metal was put together by the jeweller, soldered, and fabricated, and then put back from time to time to the engraver to do the ornamentation. And he did all the ornamental work that had to be done. If there was any enamelling, there was a possibility - even at that time - that some of it could be done locally, but the bulk of the enamelling would be done out, it would be sent out, and if it was sent out, it would be sent direct to Birmingham because the enamel work was of a very high standard there and the final finishing and all that would be done in your own workshop'

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John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (34 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 recalls the close working relationship between the jeweller and the engraver. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a gold paperknife.<br /> <br /> 'Well, in the thirties, or say '35, '36, '37, during those times, you worked in a workshop with perhaps a watchmaker, a jeweller, and an engraver. All the engraving work was done in a separate unit, by itself. You had contact with the jeweller because the jeweller would make nothing unless the engraver did all the master patterns, the templates for making up in silver and even work that was done in gold. If you did presentation pieces like caskets, quaichs, salvers, you name it, even presidential jewels and stuff like that. <br /> <br /> The engraver in those days always worked in very close relation with the jeweller because he had to do all the pattern work, all the templates, and then the jeweller cut the metal out. Then the metal was put together by the jeweller, soldered, and fabricated, and then put back from time to time to the engraver to do the ornamentation. And he did all the ornamental work that had to be done. If there was any enamelling, there was a possibility - even at that time - that some of it could be done locally, but the bulk of the enamelling would be done out, it would be sent out, and if it was sent out, it would be sent direct to Birmingham because the enamel work was of a very high standard there and the final finishing and all that would be done in your own workshop'