Antique Art Nouveau/Arts & Crafts 15ct Yellow Gold Pearl & Ruby Brooch Circa 1910
A beautiful example of an Art Nouveau brooch hallmarked for Murrle, Bennett & Co. We believe this piece was retailed by Hardy Bros in what we believe to be the original Hardy Bros box.
History of Murrle, Bennett & Co (1884 - 1916)
Operating as a wholesale jewellery business, Murrle Bennett was the partnership of Ernst Murrle and J.B Bennett. Original opened as Siegele & Bennett in London (1884), the firm was renamed Murrle, Bennett & Co.
They were particularly well known as manufacturers of Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts jewellery with Celtic designs, often collaborating with Liberty and their primary designer, Archibald Knox.
Murrle Bennett pieces are hallmarked M B & Co and are generally stamped 9 ct, or 15 ct.
Hardy Bros 1853-Present
In 1853, John Hardy founded Hardy Bros in Sydney in partnership with his elder brother Samuel. Like John, Samuel Hardy was a watchmaker as well as a Silversmith and conducted the family business at St Ives in Cambridge, England.
The firm was described as having ‘ stock of diamonds, jewellery and gems second to none outside of London’. Employing a staff of 25-30 craftsmen and assistance, the business was able to design and set fine gemstones while manufacturing silver plate and trophies made to order.
By 1907, the firm was incorporated as a public company, remaining under the control of the Hardy family until 1980. Branches were open in Brisbane (1894) and Melbourne (1918). Many leading early Australian jewellers were attributed to making silverware for the them while they continued to design and craft fine jewellery bearing the mark ‘HB’ registered in 1911.
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