Two generations of the most exquisite jewels
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drove a vintage Aston Martin, belonging to the Prince of Wales, down the Mall in London on their wedding day, it was with a small dragon on the bonnet that had been commissioned for his 21st birthday.
It’s just one example of the royal connections that jeweller David Morris has had since he designed a bespoke sapphire and diamond tiara which Crown Prince Hans Adam presented to Countess Kinsky of Austria on their wedding day in July 1967 – only five years after opening his first eponymous Hatton Garden store.
The legendary career of David Morris began in 1951, when, aged 15, he learned the craft of diamond mounting by apprenticing a master jeweller in Hatton Garden. He graduated as a goldsmith from London’s Central School of Arts and Crafts (now part of Central Saint Martins School of Design), quickly becoming an international name. He and his design partner, Anne Seymour, successively claimed the ninth and tenth De Beers Diamonds International Awards, given annually in New York to promote innovative design.
This, together with the royal seal of approval, piqued the interest of the world’s finest jewellery collectors, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran, Princess Royals Margaret and Anne and the Eighth Earl Spencer, who all became his clients. In 1986, David Morris collaborated with film star Catherine Deneuve on a collection of unique jewellery designs.
David’s friendship with famed film producer ‘Cubby’ Broccoli resulted in the tradition of his jewels featuring in James Bond films, beginning with 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever (the Bond jewels are now part of a travelling exhibition, Designing 007 – Fifty Years of Bond Style) and, in 1972, he redesigned the Miss World crown with an iconic creation of turquoise, lapis lazuli and diamonds. It is still in use today. The current store, a magnificent townhouse on New Bond Street, is the perfect showcase for jewellery that unites gemstones that are hand-picked for their high quality with an intricate, technical and artistic combination of design and craftsmanship.
In 2003, David’s son, Jeremy Morris, was appointed managing director and principal designer of David Morris. Under his direction, David Morris has expanded globally: alongside a second London boutique in Harrods’ Fine Jewellery Room, the brand has showrooms all over the world, the newest of which are in Paris and Doha. Jeremy has also continued the tradition of adorning the world’s most beautiful women, with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek, Yasmin Le Bon, Eva Mendes and Beyoncé all appearing on the red carpet in spectacular David Morris jewels.
The ultimate recognition of this exceptional design was given when a pair of earrings from the Heritage collection (inspired by David Morris’s ‘flexi’ ring of the early 1960s and designed in 2012 to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary) was selected to be included in the permanent exhibition of the Jewellery Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Today, the skilled craftsmen in the New Bond Street workshop continue to bring Jeremy’s visions to life. Each jewel is hand-made from rare and exquisite gemstones and there are no mass-production techniques. Recent launches include a larger format of the brand’s striking, signature Rose Cut watch and four new collections: Petite Palm, Rose Cut Forever, Pearl Rose and Miss Daisy. ‘What really excites me,’ Jeremy explains, ‘is when, having painstakingly put together an amazing collection of stones, I can begin to dream of the magic I can make with them; how I can best reveal their inherent beauty.’
DAVID MORRIS 180 NEW BOND STREET, LONDON W1S 4RL +44 (0)20 7499 2200