Saunders and Shepherd: was a firm of manufacturing jewellers founded in London in 1869 by Cornelius Desormeaux Saunders and James Francis Hollings Shepherd, initially trading at 23 Bartlett’s Buildings in Holborn Circus. They expanded rapidly taking on numbers 24 and then 25 before also moving into Bartlett’s Passage as their success continued to grow. Initially they specialised in mourning jewellery made from Whitby jet, but by 1880 they were advertising as “manufacturers in gold and standard silver of brooches, earrings, chains, swivels, lockets and necklets, pendants, solitaires, studs and charms.”
In 1889 they became the licensees for the American firm of Krementz and their patented one-piece collar stud and also invented the first self-closing bracelet. When C. D. Saunders died in 1890 his three sons became directors of the business, which was known as Saunders and Shepherd Ltd. The firm had offices in India, Canada and Australia. In 1909 a factory was opened in Birmingham and the company produced increasing numbers of new designs and innovative pieces to keep abreast of changing fashions. The Depression of the 1930s followed by WW2 affected the business severely and they reduced it in size in order to survive. The Birmingham factory was closed and in 1941 the London premises was badly damaged by bombing, and most of their patterns were destroyed. By the end of the war the company had less than 30 employees left but continued trading and gradually built themselves back up. In 1951 they exhibited at The Festival of Britain and as the country began to recover from the ravages of war the demand for jewellery increased. By the end of the 1950s they were able to move into new premises in St Cross Street in London. In 1980 the company moved into Bleeding Heart Yard in Hatton Garden. The following year they were commissioned to make a gold bracelet for Lady Diana Spencer which she would go on to wear on her wedding day.