This magnificent objet d’art was created by the accomplished jeweller William Tolliday for Garrard. Tolliday spent his entire career at Garrard, which served as England’s crown jeweller until 2007. Beginning in the 1960s, Tolliday gained renown as a jeweller and a goldsmith for his fantastical fairy castles. Tolliday’s creations were promoted exclusively by Garrard, where he maintained a studio, and his works were sought and collected by clients from the United States to the Middle East. Tolliday created his castles from precious metals such as gold and silver, gemstones, and natural minerals. His miniatures are painstaking in detail, with each one taking several months to complete.
The present example is an exceptionally large demonstration of Tolliday’s work. The castle is modelled after the Château de Saumur, between Angers, Poitiers, and Tours in Western France. The varicoloured gold castle is set atop an amethyst base, within the purple centre of which Saint George does battle with the Dragon. The composition is wonderfully detailed: gold trees litter the hillside, and the castle is replete with drawbridge, battlements, and wind-waving flags, while the dragon St. George's horse's eyes are studded with white diamonds.
The side of the castle is set with a gold plaque engraved with ‘St. George and the Dragon by William Tolliday MCMLXX’.
Illustrated: Gifts by Garrard: The Crown Jewelers, 1970, cover page
Artist / Maker
Garrard & Co. (English, founded 1735), Tolliday, William (English, b. 1915)