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A very British Story

Our History

Mappin & Webb is a true British treasure with over 240 years of tradition and historical significance in the world of silver and fine jewellery. Renowned for combining timeless craftsmanship with superior quality and contemporary design, we have produced exquisite fine jewellery, elegant silverware, watches, glassware and the unique lifestyle accessories that have long been at the heart of affluent British society.

It’s a story that began in 1775, when Jonathan Mappin opened a workshop in Sheffield. His mission was to create the most beautifully crafted silverware for British society.

Over the immediate years that followed this would see the company expand internationally, receive Royal Warrants and commissions from Monarchs around the world, and become synonymous with excellence, craftsmanship and all things truly British.

The Early Years: A Family Partnership

Within a year the first Mappin hallmark was recorded at the assay office and in 1780 Jonathan Mappin was given the Freedom of the Cutlers Company. The ‘Cutlers Company of Hallamshire’, to give it its full title, was incorporated in 1624 to provide jurisdiction over those making cutlery near Sheffield and to promote Sheffield as a place of expertise.

The Company and Sheffield’s cutlery trade and reputation still exist to this day. Jonathan Mappin’s son Joseph followed him into the business and was also a Freeman, then came his grandson, also called Joseph.

But it was under his four great grandsons, who incorporated the business as Mappin Brothers Ltd, in the middle of the 19th Century that the significant expansion began – at the time, the youngest brother, Jonathan Newton Mappin, was only 14 years old.

In 1849, Joseph Mappin opened his first eponymous London showroom at 15 Fore Street; shortly afterwards the eldest brother was knighted, becoming Sir William Mappin, but as the business grew the brothers each took a different path.

Historic Image of a Mappin & Webb Boutique
Historic Image of a Mappin & Webb Boutique

Sir William Mappin left in 1859, to become the senior partner at Thomas Turton & Sons’ steel mill, and gave his share of Mappin Brothers to the other three. In 1860, John Mappin, the youngest but by now 22 years old, broke away from Mappin Brothers and started his own business Mappin & Company opening the first Mappin store in 1860 at 77-78 Oxford Street, London. John Mappin was joined in the new adventure two years later by his brother-in-law George Webb.

The 1890s then spearheaded four decades of expansion for the brand. Our first overseas store was established in Johannesburg with the discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand and stores soon followed in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo, Biarritz and Nice, Lausanne and Vichy, Paris and Rome, Hong Kong and Shanghai, Cairo and Mumbai \(formerly called Bombay\).

Image of Historic Catalogue Covers and International Stores

Mappin & Webb

Our Timeline

Discover our historic timeline, with key events depicted by year.

Mappin & Webb is founded by Jonathon Mappin

First Mappin & Webb store opens in London at 77/78 Oxford St

Charles Dickens purchases a Mappin & Webb Claret Jug

The first overseas branch opened in Johannesburg and this formed the decade of overseas expansion for Mappin & Webb

Granted a Royal Warrant as Silversmiths to Queen Victoria

Mappin & Webb's acclaimed Campaign watch is supplied to troops at the battle of Omdurman

Granted a Royal Warrant by the Russian Imperial Household

Houdini visits Mappin & Webb's sheffield factory to acquire silver gifts

International Store expansion follows in Buneos Aires, Paris, Lausanne, Nice, Vichy, Rome, Cairo, Shanghai and Biarritz, Hong Kong and Mumbai (formerly called Bombay)

Solid silver bedroom service created for an Indian Maharaja

Mappin & Webb supplies watches to the Admirality

The First World War saw the company's Sheffield factory given over to the war effort

Mappin & Webb creates a silver commemorative piece for Amy Johnson's solo flight from England to Australia

Store in Japan opens

The Second World War saw war efforts recommence, whilst the Paris boutique was seized

Mappin & Webb is invited to showcase products at the Festival of Britain

Mappin & Webb supplies Winston Churchill's pocket watches and solid gold ashtrays

Royal Warrant Holder and Court Jeweller Carrington & Co (Established in 1834) is acquired by Mappin & Webb

Grace Kelly becomes patron of the Edinburgh store

Mappin & Webb opens in Selfridges with the world's most expensive luggage set, in excess of a quarter of a million pounds

Granted a Royal warrant as Silversmiths to His Royal Higness The Prince of Wales

Mappin & Webb craftsmen appointed as the Crown Jeweller

Mappin & Webb becomes an official sponsor of the Princes Trust

Mappin & Webb's design team begin reinventing Mappin & Webb's heritage in new and unexpected ways

A silver statue of the Duke of Wellington is commissioned by the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards to commememorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo

Mappin & Webb re-issues it's famed Campaign watch

A new flagship store re-opens at 132 Regent Street marking a new and exciting chapter in the brand's history

Mappin & Webb continues to serve Her Majesty The Queen as a Royal Warrant Holder