Back in 1953, The London Silver Vaults opened on the site of the 1880s Chancery Lane Safe Deposit Company, where the great and the good (and no doubt not so good) of London stowed their valuables.
Security, of course, was paramount in the
new vaults' design and each is housed behind a foot-thick bank
vault-type door, three storeys underground. Today, several of the
27 resident dealers are third-generation traders here and, although
cosseted away off Chancery Lane, the whereabouts of this London
institution must be known by London cabbies to pass 'the
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the
vaults are holding a few events this summer, continuing to the end
of October. Currently on view is a picture exhibition charting the
vaults' history from its early days in the 1950s, including a
drawing by Ronald Searle published in 1959 by the BBC which depicts
the main shopping 'street' with silver piled high on tables outside
each vault, before they were converted into shops.
A prize draw to win £1000 to spend at the
shops is also running over the summer (closing on October 31)
alongside a selling exhibition of silver and jewellery, with themed
cabinets containing pieces selected from the dealers' stock.
Inevitably, even three storeys underground,
there's still no escaping Royal Baby Fever and one of the themes is
special occasions, containing a stash of christening gifts.
Picturedhere, are some of the items at the Silver Vaults
celebrating the arrival of the Royal baby.