The world renowned Royal Warrant holding luxury goods retailer Asprey started life as a small silk printing business in Mitcham, Surrey. William Asprey gradually grew the firm to include a variety of other goods, he sought partnerships with other business and as his success grew he also bought up other firms in order to expand the firms offering and expertise.
They moved to London’s New Bond Street in 1847, now under the leadership of William’s son Charles, from where they advertised their goods of ‘exclusive design and high quality’. These included items both for personal adornment and accompaniment as well as table and home wares. A particular speciality at this time was dressing cases and in 1862 the firm was awarded their first Royal Warrant for these by Queen Victoria. Later the same year, the quality of craftsmanship and expertise demonstrated by these cases earned Asprey a gold medal at the London International Exhibition.
Having acquired the Alfred Club at 22 Albemarle Street, Asprey was able to expand their store and create entrances on two of London’s most fashionable streets. As the business continued to grow, the range of goods offered also expanded and the company acquired manufacturing facilities and hired goldsmiths, silversmiths and watchmakers. They attracted clients from all over the world and by the 1920s were creating commissions for Royalty both at home and abroad including a beautiful pearl necklace for Queen Mary and teak and silver travelling trunks for the wives of the Maharaja of Patiala. The firm expanded overseas with Saks Fifth Avenue acting as their American agents and soon they were attracting clients such as banking millionaire J. P. Morgan Jr.
Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953 inspired the creation of a spectacular ‘Coronation Year Gold Collection.’ Consisting of a dessert, coffee and liqueur service all expertly crafted in 18-carat gold and weighing almost 27 pounds, it went on display in the New Bond Street store before touring the United States. Since their first Warrant in 1862, Asprey has maintained a close relationship with British royalty and has been granted a Royal Warrant by every subsequent British monarch as well as several other foreign heads of state.
In 1998 the company merged with the Crown Jewellers Garrard, a partnership that lasted for four years before the firms demerged. In 2006 Asprey celebrated its 225th anniversary and was granted a coat of arms by the English College of Arms with the motto “It can be done” representing their approach towards bespoke client requests. Today the firm still operates from the New Bond Street premises they have occupied since 1847.