As much as a story about a fine jewellery company, it has also been a story about people exhibiting a passion for jewellery, overcoming adversity and fulfilling long held ambitions to take the business from its roots to the blossoming international reputation it has today.
The Kirk family establish a jewellery business in 1798 which was later to acquire Boodle and Dunthorne.
Empire and Prosperity
Liverpool had become one of the wealthiest cities in the world thanks to its place at the heart of the British trading empire. Exotic goods from around the globe passed through the city, and an affluent merchant class emerged. William Wainwright saw a business opportunity and took over Kirk & Co, renaming it simply 'Wainwright'.
William Wainwright’s pocket watches
Two pocket watches designed and made by William Wainwright. William Wainwright is the Great-Great-Great-Great Uncle of the youngest generation of the family running Boodles today.
William’s nephew Henry joined the family business as an apprentice. He was passionate about jewellery and was the natural successor to William when he retired from the business in the 1890's. He was joined by his sons Harold and Herbert in the early part of the 20th century.
A telegram receipt for several items purchased from Boodle & Dunthorne .
Harold & Herbert Wainwright
In 1910 the two sons broke away from their father and bought the stock, premises and good will of another old-established firm of jewellers, named Boodle and Dunthorne. It was purchased from the executors of Mr Boodle and Mr Dunthorne who died leaving a rather dilapidated but beautifully appointed and well-stocked jewellers, specialising in rare objects d'art, silver, jewellery, antiques, special timepieces and gold pocket watches.
A New Home
Boodles House is opened on the desirable corner of Lord Street and North John Street in Liverpool. This is still Head Office today.
King George V visits the North West
Boodle & Dunthorne were commissioned to design and make a silver-gilt switch box for presentation to King George V on his visit to open the Birkenhead library.
Captain Anthony Wainwright
Despite adversity, Boodles thrived thanks to Anthony’s entrepreneurial flair and desire for expansion. He opened the company’s second shop in Chester in 1965 and a third in Manchester in 1980. Anthony Wainwright joined his father and grandfather in Boodles in 1939. After serving in Burma during the war he returned to take over the business in 1945.
A cake stand fit for a princess
As part of a regional offering, Boodle & Dunthorne designs and makes the solid silver stand for one of Princess Elizabeth's wedding cakes.
A winner by 30 lengths!
Boodle & Dunthorne makes the gold trophy for record breaking Grand National winner Mr What. Ridden by the Queen Mother's jockey, it won by 30 lengths at odds of 18-1.
Boodle & Dunthorne opens its second shop, in a premium location adjacent to the Grosvenor Hotel, in Chester. The shop would later be extended significantly.
Liza Goddard, star of the British television screen in the 1970’s is chosen as the lead part in a Boodle & Dunthorne TV advert. Photographed here during filming in the Liverpool shop.
The company's first London shop was opened opposite Harrods. This was to be a crucial stepping stone towards the expansion of Boodles, both nationally and internationally.
It went down to the last chukka...
Mr and Mrs H A Wainwright present the 'Boodles Trophy' to HRH The Prince of Wales, whose polo team beat the Boodles team by 5 - 4 1/2 at Cirencester Polo Club.
Brothers in Arms
Following the death of their father, Nicholas and Michael Wainwright take full control of the company. They open further shops in London, assemble a leading design team, and focus on the development of the brand.
A modern look for a traditional company
World renowned architect Eva Jiricna is appointed to transform the Boodles shops into exciting and contemporary retail spaces. Lightness and transparency of materials characterise the new shop interiors. Photography by Matej Slavik.
1st Boodles Tennis Tournament
The 1st Boodles tennis tournament took place at Stoke Park. Since 2002 it has attracted many of the world’s leading tennis players including Henman, Sampras, Agassi, Murray, Djokovic and Nadal.
The New Name
Boodle & Dunthorne becomes simply BOODLES.
And in the pink corner...
The first Boodles Boxing Ball takes place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. Princes William and Harry are accompanied to the ball by young Kate Middleton.
Bond Street Opening
Opening of the first shop on London’s Bond Street, and the realisation of a long held dream for the British fine jeweller.
Jewellery design at its very best
The first Boodles Wonderland Collection is launched at the Haymarket Hotel in London. The collection is inspired by a combination of the imaginary and the living world in all its beauty.
'...iconic British jewellery design'
Boodles are invited to display the Raindance Ring in the permanent jewellery exhibition of the V&A Museum in London, as an example of an 'iconic British jewellery design'.
On Sunday 23rd March 2014 at 9pm, the exclusive world of Boodles was unveiled for all to see in a Channel 4 'Behind the Scenes' documentary from the award winning producers of ‘Inside Claridges’ and ‘Inside Rolls Royce’. ‘The Million Pound Necklace: Inside Boodles’ follows the creation of an exquisite Emerald Greenfire suite from loose stones to design, creation and launch.
Boodles collaborates with The Royal Ballet to produce 'Pas de Deux', a collection of high jewellery inspired by the movement and shapes that are formed by two dancers working in partnership. Head of Design Rebecca Hawkins spent many months backstage at the Royal Opera House in order to design the collection.
The Poetry of Landscape
Boodles reveals 'The Poetry of Landscape', a collection of exceptional jewellery inspired by aspects of Britain's natural landscape, climatic conditions and seasonal change. British landscape photographer Martin Morrell was commissioned to capture a range of these natural British scenes to accompany the collection.READ MORE