A short stroll away from our London office sits one of this country’s most recognisable, revered buildings: The Royal Albert Hall. The mere ten minute walk before reaching that building involves passing Brompton Oratory, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Natural History Museum amongst others. Even when one’s eyes are exposed to them daily, it’s difficult not to feel a sense of awe in the presence of these structural spectacles. London, with its star-studded architectural lineup, has always inspired Halcyon Days pieces and, here, we’ll share more about the ways in which that inspiration manifests itself as well as the history behind some of the places our products honour.
The Line drawing our artists use as a guide on our Albert Hall boxes
With its extraordinary Italianate-style exterior and imperious auditorium, The Royal Albert Hall is emblematic of the very best in the worlds of art, science and even sport. In 1871, Queen Victoria opened the hall in honour of her late husband and, since then, its hallowed boards have been trodden by figures from Churchill to Kylie Minogue, and Einstein to Elton John. After an opening ceremony with music by Handel, in which Queen Victoria found herself too overcome with emotion to deliver her welcome address, it was there that the Titanic Band memorial concert took place in 1912, The Beatles first shared a lineup with The Rolling Stones in 1963, and David Bowie performed in public for the final time in 2006.
These days, crowds continue to be treated to visual and aural feasts in a space that has been affectionately dubbed “the nation’s village hall”. Cirque du Soleil, Champions Tour tennis, film premieres, and The Proms account for a handful of the hundreds of events held at the hall each year and, in a world so starved recently of collective experience, the building’s status feels more sacred now than ever.
The Royal Albert Hall is indisputably integral to the identity of our city and, it feels only appropriate, therefore, that we’ve honoured it in the best way we know how. Our enamel boxes based on the building were first produced in 1987 and they’re handcrafted and hand-painted by British artisans. Our musical box decidedly encapsulates a hint of the energy that makes the space it reflects so special. Once opened, the box plays, ‘Rule Britannia’, as has been traditional on the Last Night of The Proms since 1895, and delivers a dose of the wonder, emotion and elation that characterise a much-loved occasion.
Throughout our history as a company, we’ve created many pieces honouring landmarks around London. St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, the Chapel Royal, and many more have been embodied in enamel form. Today, from our popular London Icons range to our limited edition Tower Bridge enamel box, London themed pieces still feature heavily in our offering.
Our Silver Jubilee Enamel Box from 1977
The city that houses our head office is a vibrant, evolving place. Ever since our first shop on Brook Street opened its doors in 1950, the pieces we sell and create contain a glimmer of London’s ever-inspiring energy; a glimmer that permeates wherever it is in the world our products end up.