Mappin & Webb
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Mappin & Webb was founded in Sheffield in 1775 by Jonathon Webb. Within a year of the company's foundation, its first hallmark was recorded at the assay office. In 1780, Jonathon was given the Freedom of the Cutlers Company. Jonathon's son, Joseph, and grandson by the same name, later joined the family business. In the mid-19th century, Jonathon's four grandsons incorporated Mappin & Webb and Cutlers Company together under Mappin Brothers Ltd. In 1849, Joseph Mappin opened a showroom in London at 15 Fore Street.
Shortly afterwards the eldest brother was knighted, becoming Sir William Mappin. As the business grew the brothers each took a different path. Sir William Mappin left the company in 1859 to pursue a senior partnership position at Thomas Turton & Sons’ steel mill.
In 1860, the youngest brother, John Mappin, broke away from Mappin Brothers Ltd and started his own business Mappin & Company. In the same year, John opened the first Mappin store at 77-78 Oxford Street, London. In 1862, John's brother-in-law, George Webb, joined him in business. Soon after, the company began designing jewelry. In the 1890s, the company opened its first overseas store in Johannesburg. In 1897, Mappin & Webb was granted a Royal Warrant to Queen Victoria. During the Mahdist War, British soldiers at the Battle of Omdurman (1898) were supplied with the Mappin & Webb Campaign watch. A year later, Mappin & Webb was granted a Royal Warrant for the Russian Imperial Household.
In 1900, the famous Harry Houdini visited the factory at Sheffield and selected silverware for himself. Between 1902 and 1932, stores opened worldwide in Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Biarritz, Nice, Lausanne, Vichy, Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Cairo, and Mumbai. In 1914, Mappin & Webb supplied watches to the Admiralty, but as the war intensified the Mappin & Webb factory at Sheffield was given over to the war effort. In 1934, the first Mappin & Webb store opens in Japan.
At the beginning of the Second World War, the Mappin & Webb store in Paris was seized and war efforts recommenced in England. After the war, Mappin & Webb supplied Sir Winston Churchill's pocket watches and ashtrays. In 1970, Court Jeweler Carrington & Co is acquired by Mappin & Webb. The company was granted the Royal Warrant to the Prince of Wales in 1980. In 2012, Mappin & Webb was appointed Crown Jeweler and continues to serve the Queen as Royal Warrant Holder.
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