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George Richards Elkington
Elkington & Co.

1801 — 1865

George Richards Elkington was the son of a Birmingham spectacle manufacturer who apprenticed to his uncle’s silver plating business in 1815. Upon his uncle’s death, he took his cousin, Henry Elkington, into partnership.

Throughout its history, Elkington & Co. achieved remarkable success, and it is known for being a leading producer of silver plating. In 1840, it patented the electroplating process, which enabled a layer of silver on a base metal to create more affordable pieces and reach a far wider audience.

In 1842, a third partner, Josiah Mason, joined the firm, which operated as Elkington & Co. until 1861, when the partnership with Mason was terminated. From 1861 until 1963, it was taken over by British Silverware Ltd. In 1971, British Silverware became a subsidiary of Delta Metal Co. Ltd.

Elkington received various royal warrants of appointment, and also an Imperial and Royal Warrant of Appointment from the Emperor of Austria. One of their most famous pieces is the electrotype copy of the Jerningham Wine Cooler, at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Last Updated on: 2024-06-22