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TITLE
John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (39 of 39)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_SILVERSMITH_39
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
John Fraser
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2270
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 competitive spirit amongst the jewellers. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Clan Fraser badge with the motto, 'Je Suis Prest' (I Am Ready).

'There was a tremendous amount of jealousy and, of course, workshops like Medlock and Craik's, and any of the workshops in those days, were taboo to the public. They were taboo to anybody, except the staff. Nobody worried about the front shop staff and if the front shop staff went up and said that we were making a casket, doing this or doing that, they weren't particularly worried about that. What they were worried about was that anybody would put their foot inside the workshop and see it. As long as they could get the thing to the customer without anybody seeing it but the customer, they'd done their job. And that's what they set out to do from the very beginning; they would never share it. In other words, be in a position - like I am today - if somebody come in and said 'Are you doing anything, John?' and if I said 'Well, I'm making up a chain for so and so' I would say 'Well, do you want to see it?' I would go into the safe and take it out and let them see it. That wasn't done in my day. You didn't do that. You did that after it was given to the people that ordered it, but not before. You were never allowed to see it beforehand - only the people that were working on it'

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John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (39 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 competitive spirit amongst the jewellers. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Clan Fraser badge with the motto, 'Je Suis Prest' (I Am Ready).<br /> <br /> 'There was a tremendous amount of jealousy and, of course, workshops like Medlock and Craik's, and any of the workshops in those days, were taboo to the public. They were taboo to anybody, except the staff. Nobody worried about the front shop staff and if the front shop staff went up and said that we were making a casket, doing this or doing that, they weren't particularly worried about that. What they were worried about was that anybody would put their foot inside the workshop and see it. As long as they could get the thing to the customer without anybody seeing it but the customer, they'd done their job. And that's what they set out to do from the very beginning; they would never share it. In other words, be in a position - like I am today - if somebody come in and said 'Are you doing anything, John?' and if I said 'Well, I'm making up a chain for so and so' I would say 'Well, do you want to see it?' I would go into the safe and take it out and let them see it. That wasn't done in my day. You didn't do that. You did that after it was given to the people that ordered it, but not before. You were never allowed to see it beforehand - only the people that were working on it'