Robert Roskell

Robert Roskell
Finlay Fine Jewelers
Founded : 1843
Activities : Wholesale silver collection, silver jewelry collection, high jewelry silver collection, silver timepieces
Parent Company : Finlay Enterprises
Stockists : International
Origin : Liverpool, England

Storr & Mortimer
Goldsmiths and Jewellers to Her Majesty’ (1822-1839)

Having left RUNDELL, BRIDGE & RUNDELL in 1819 and moved to a factory in Harrison Street, Grays Inn Lane (now Road), Paul Storr soon went into partnership with John Mortimer, the assistant of a retiring retail goldsmith and jeweller, WILLIAM GRAY, of 13 New Bond Street.

The firm was renamed STORR & MORTIMER. Under their agreement, Storr concentrated on the manufacture of goods for Mortimer to sell in the shop at 13 New Bond Street. Storr and Mortimer now manufacturing and retail goldsmiths, jewellers and silversmiths with an influential clientele, moved to 156, New Bond Street, in 1838.

Owing to changing economic conditions and Mortimers supposed ineptitude as a businessman, the shop which he managed is said to have been vastly overstocked.

Then, circa 1826, Storr’s nephew by marriage, John Samuel Hunt, joined the partnership. It seems that he had been working as a chaser in Storr’s workshop for many years. Storr retired to Tooting in 1839 and died in 1844. The firm continued as MORTIMER & HUNT.

Mortimer & Hunt (1839-1843)

When Paul Storr retired from the firm Storr & Mortimer on December 31, 1838, John Samuel Hunt’s son John Hunt became a third partner and they did business as Mortimer & Hunt.

Under this new partnership, John Samuel Hunt entered his first set of marks ISH (in a similar indented punch to the previous PS mark) at Goldsmiths’ Hall on 17th January 1839. Meanwhile the firm had relocated its shop to 156 New Bond Street, its manufactory remaining at 17 Harrison Street, and on 30th December 1839 entered a new set of marks IM & ISH (with and without a crown above).
When John Mortimer retired in 1843, the Hunts took Robert Roskell as a partner and C.F. Hancocks, continuing the business as ‘Hunt & Roskell’.

Hunt & Roskell (1843 – 1897)

Robert Roskell was a very famous pocket watchmaker who started creating masterpieces in Liverpool, England in 1798. Eventually, he moved to London to continue on in his watch making career with the firm which, in 1843, was renamed Hunt & Roskell with Robert Roskell as the new partner. This company produced some of the finest watches and jewelry during its time in operation.

Hunt & Roskell were also the London agents for the Breguet firm and produced many elegant watches. The company was purchased in 1889 by J.W. Bensen, but he kept the company name, probably because the name Roskell was already established and well respected. The “golden years” of Robert Roskell’s pocket watch making was from 1798 through about 1840, when he completed most of his work and became known for his superior craftsmanship and skill.

After 1843, Robert’s time was consumed with his work as partner of the new company. However, watch enthusiasts across the world seek out the beautiful sterling silver or gold cased designer pocket watches with the signature “rack and lever” movement that Robert Roskell was famous for.

Seeing the movement signed with “Robert Roskell” can send shivers of excitement up the spine of any collector, in particular if the piece is of exceptional and working quality. The amazing thing about these timepieces that are aged well over 100 years old is that they were created by men who were essentially artists, without the aid of machinery or electricity.

Silversmiths and jewelers to Queen Victoria. Successors to Mortimer & Hunt on the retirement of John Mortimer. Objects from this source are also in the holdings of the Dept of Asia. They were still trading by at least as late as 1876.

Hunt & Roskell, a firm of manufacturing and retail jewelers and silversmiths, was founded by Paul Storr in 1819, trading as Storr & Co. (1819-22), Storr & Mortimer (1822-38), Mortimer & Hunt (1838-43) and then Hunt & Roskell (1843-97). Hunt & Roskell had retail premises at 156 New Bond Street and a manufactory at 26 Harrison Street, near Clerkenwell. John Samuel Hunt, who had assisted Storr from the start, continued as a partner until his death in 1865, when he was succeeded by his son, John Hunt (d.1879).

Robert Roskell, formerly a watchmaker and merchant of Liverpool, joined in 1844 and remained in the firm until his death in 1888. In 1889 the firm was taken over by J.W. Benson and continued in business as Hunt & Roskell Ltd until c.1965.

The Hunt & Roskell silver firm was established in 1843 by Robert and Allan Roskell and John Mortimer Hunt.

Prior to Hunt & Roskell, the firm existed Storr & Co (1782-1822), Storr & Mortimer (1822-1826), Storr, Mortimer & Hunt (1826-1838), and Mortimer & Hunt (1839-1843). Hunt & Roskell continued the long history of the firm as prestigious silver and goldsmiths and produced jewelry and silver for the aristocracy and royal family. Hunt & Roskell exhibited at the Crystal Palace exhibition in 1851. Hunt & Roskell produced watches for the Breguet firm. Robert Roskell is also independently well known for his watch design. The makers mark is an H&R over LTD.

Hunt & Roskell employed sculptors and artists to design some of their pieces. The pieces are sculptural and decorative, with flora and fauna motifs. Auction highlights include a pair of Victorian silver salts in the form of a kangaroo sold by Sotheby’s London on November 23, 2004 for $48,000. Another auction highlight is the sale of a Victorian silver boar’s head stirrup cup sold by Christie’s London on July 13, 2006 for $24,000.

Mortimer & Hunt(1839-1843) were successors to ‘Storr & Mortimer, Goldsmiths and Jewellers to Her Majesty’ (1822-1839). The famous silversmith Paul Storr founded the company in 1792 under the name Storr & Co, and took John Mortimer as a partner in 1822 and John Samuel Hunt, Storr’s nephew (who had been working for Storr as a silversmith since 1810), as a third partner in 1826.

When Paul Storr retired from the firm on December 31, 1838, John Samuel Hunt’s son John Hunt became a third partner and they did business as Mortimer & Hunt. When John Mortimer retired in 1843, the Hunts took Robert Roskell as a partner, continuing the business as ‘Hunt & Roskell’. They continued to be one of Europe’s finest silversmithing firms, selling to Queen Victoria and many members of Europe’s royal and aristocratic families and exhibiting at important international exhibitions including the ‘Crystal Palace’ exhibition of 1851.

Paul Storr is one of the most renowned London silversmiths. His company was started in 1792 under the name Storr & Co. Storr took John Mortimer as a partner in 1822 and Storr’s nephew , John Samuel Hunt, who had worked for Storr since 1810 as a third partner in 1826. When Paul Storr retired in December, 1838, John Hunt, John Samuel Hunt’s nephew became a third partner and did business as Mortimer & Hunt(1839-1843). When Mortimer retired in December,1843, the company became Hunt & Roskell, Silversmiths and Jewellers to Her Majesty.

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