LWSilver was recently awarded a commission to produce a Chain of Office for the newly created Highcliffe & Walkford Parish Council in Dorset. We were one of several silversmiths approached by the council and were delighted to receive the final commission.
The finished piece is some of our finest work and something we are rightly proud to have produced.
A brief history of Chains of Office
A Chain of Office – technically known as a livery collar – is an important piece of official regalia worn by mayors and other civic leaders around the UK.
They date back to the Middle Ages, with the first recorded example being bestowed upon Geoffrey de Belleville (Chamberlain to Charles V of France) in 1378.
Over the centuries, these collars stopped representing a person’s association with the aristocracy and came to symbolise their deep connections – their links, if you will – with the community that they serve.
Highcliffe and Walkford Parish Council is a new local authority, formed in 2019. Their instructions were simple – they needed a new Chain of Office for their council. Specifically, they wanted one that evidenced them as a new Parish Council for the 21st century.
We consulted closely with the council on the design of the chain, ensuring that all aspects of it met with their approval. It was to be wrought in high-quality silver, with name plates around the collar, connected by robust, silver links. The central badge – or genet – includes a depiction of Highcliffe Castle, one of the council’s most familiar landmarks.
We incorporated two semi-precious stones into the Chain of Office. On the front piece, we used lapis lazuli inlaid on enamel to produce a rich, deep blue behind the silver castle. The bail, connecting the genet to the chain, was inlaid with two horizontal bars of carnelian. This cylindrical bail represents the local lighthouse.
A delighted customer
Upon delivery of their new Chain of Office, the council were delighted that we have produced it ahead of time and within budget. As spokesperson had the following to say: “The Council express their appreciation to Lisa and said they were confident successive chairmen will be very proud to wear the Chain of Office for many years to come.”
Highcliffe & Walkford Parish Council in Dorset was set up as a new local authority in 2019. We needed a Chain of Office and we wanted one that evidenced us as a brand new, 21st century Council.
LWSilver was one of several silversmiths approached with the commission and what a fantastic success they have made of it. Close consultation with the client throughout and attention to the finest detail, they delivered a magnificent chain ahead of time and on budget too.
The Council express their appreciation to Lisa and said they were confident successive chairmen will be very proud to wear the Chain of Office for many years to come.