Just a few of the awesome shops that Pearl & Queenie Jewellery can be found in – see our stockist page for further details.
We were delighted to be asked at the beginning of the year to design a collection of jewels exclusivley for The Jerwood Gallery. Having always been great supporters of The Jerwood during planning, build & completion, we knew it would be a great success!
An international Art Gallery in the middle of Hastings Old Town for Modern British Art.
The guys at JG HQ wanted us to do something in keeping with Hastings, & asked for nautical, so we duley obligied. Lots of Anchors, Ropes & Seagulls in silver with blue enamel.
Jerwood Gallery is a major initiative of the Jerwood Foundation, established to create a permanent, public home for the Jerwood Foundation’s Collection of Modern British Art, alongside a changing curated programme.
Jerwood Gallery has been sensitively and intuitively designed, by architects HAT Projects to complement the surrounding environment of Hastings’ Old Town. The building sits among the unique Hastings net shops, on the edge of the working fishing beach. The Gallery’s exterior is clad in over 8000 black ceramic tiles, hand-glazed a few miles away in Kent, which reflect the changing seaside light. The emphasis on sustainability is exemplary, with the building creating 60% less CO2 per m² than an average museum of a comparable size. It houses a range of Gallery spaces from intimate rooms through to a dramatic 180m² Gallery for the temporary exhibition programme.
The Gallery is part of a landmark £9 million redevelopment of the Stade, a historic area in Hastings Old Town, home to Europe’s largest beach-launched fishing fleet. The £4 million Gallery, for which the capital and running costs will be funded by the Jerwood Foundation, is seen as an important catalyst in the cultural and economic regeneration of the area.
Since the Foundation’s purchase in 1993 of From my Window at Ditchling by Sir Frank Brangwyn, the Jerwood Foundation’s collection has grown steadily in stature and importance to include around two hundred British oil paintings and works on paper.
The Collection’s core areas are figurative and abstract works from between the First World War and the 1960s, and contemporary works by artists associated with Jerwood, including several winners of the Jerwood Painting Prize such as Craigie Aitchison, Maggi Hambling and Prunella Clough. The Collection includes works by well-known artists such as Sir Stanley Spencer, Lawrence Stephen Lowry, Walter Sickert and Augustus John, alongside works by artists of importance who may be less well-known to a general audience, such as Eliot Hodgkin and Dod Procter. Highlights include The Bather by Christopher Wood, Chrome and Yellow by Paul Feiler, Mainly Grey and White by Anne Redpath and a portrait by Stanley Spencer of his niece, Daphne. The Collection represents a personal rather than academic reading of Modern British Art, resulting in a selection that is accessible, surprising, and of sustained quality.
Hastings was and is a location that resonates with artists represented in the Collection, some of whom have strong links to the town, so it is a particularly appropriate location for the Gallery. The Collection continues to grow strongly with further purchases of Modern British works, together with paintings by exciting contemporary artists.
Current Exhibition: Gary Hume
Hume was the winner of the Jerwood Painting Prize in 1997 and was elected as a Royal Academician in 2001. The exhibition entitled Gary Hume: Flashback, organised by the Arts Council, features a range of paintings and sculptures produced by the Turner Prize-nominated artist. It traces a path from Gary Hume’s early works to the present day, charting the evolution of one of the most important figures in British art.
We are very fortunate to know the brilliant fashion & photo documentary photographer Jane Hilton www.janehilton.com. A fan of Pearl & Queenie’s & a regular to our Boutique in Hastings where she splits her time between her home there, & home/studio in North London. A regular photographer for The Observer & Sunday Telegraph along with her big fashion campaigns, plus her true love; photo documentary. She has an avid interest & passion for Mid West America. Her work on life of the American Cowboy, saw her exhibit last year in New York, London & Berlin plus produce the book ’Dead Eagle Trail’ – You must check it out! Currently working on her next project (we are sworn to secrecy!) again taking her back to the US for weeks/months at a time!
Jane is a big big lover of jewellery & when we first showed her our samples for Equestrian Treasures & The Love Story, she said she’d love to do our photographic campaign – we of course bit her hand right off! Coming up with the concept, Jane knew we wanted something very British, with a nod to our heritage.
“In order to photograph the Pearl and Queenie new
collection we tried to work with a concept where the Jewellery would
stand out but there would also be a sense of place and atmosphere too.
The perfect solution was to make the photographs look like paintings referencing the work of Vermeer. Vermeer’s portraits like the ‘girl with the pearl earring’ were taken
with a beautiful window light which can be stunning. So I tried to replicate this feel and set up the model where the daylight was key. The model we chose was also referenced to this era, but keeping a contemporary feel as the collection dictated too.
The stylist used clothing that was contemporary but that
would disappear in the photograph so only the sitter and the
Jewels would stand out.
The P and Q collection is a total inspiration of classic
jewellerybut with a moderntwist.The photographs do the same.”
Model: Lizzie from Tessa. Photographer: Jane Hilton. Make Up: Julie Thomas. Stylist: Nikki Black. Location: Phil Quarton @ The Junction Tavern, Kentish Town, London. Graphics & ReTouch: Adi Wright. Whippet: Olive. Jewellery: Pearl & Queenie
Many people always comment on the name of our jewellery brand, & yes we were partly influenced by The Pearly Kings & Queens of London (Kathy’s a Londoner – we are also a British designer brand & wanted a name that belonged to the UK) but also Becca’s most favourite prized possession is her beautiful whippet Pearl, along with being a precious gem. So to set the record straight when people ask whom is whom, Becca is Pearl & Kathy is Queenie.
For those of you that dont know the history of The Pearly Kings & Queens…here’s a bit about there history..
Pearly Kings & Queens originated in the 19th century
from the ‘Coster Kings & Queens’, who originated in the 18th century, who
originated from the ‘Costermongers’, who originated from London’s ‘Street
Traders’, who have been around for over a 1000 years.
Street traders, or ‘Costermongers’ as they became known,
have been an important feature of London life since the 11th century – and for
the best part of 900 of those years they were unlicensed and itinerant – at
times hounded by the authorities & bureaucracy. They cried their wares to
attract customers with vigour and panache – much to the annoyance of London’s
‘well-to-do’ society – yet they provided an essential service to London’s poor;
mainly selling their wares in small quantities around the streets & alleyways
- at first from baskets, then progressing to barrows – then permanent static
pitches from stalls – until they finally evolved into today’s familiar and
Because of London’s unique geographical position it grew and
thrived as a trading centre – the City grew up not just around its financial
market, but around its famous markets that provided the necessities of life -
markets such as Billingsgate (where the fish were landed), Smithfield (for
cattle & livestock) and Covent Garden and Spitalfields (for fruit, veg
Although each Coster family traded independently, they
remained loyal to other costers – collecting for those that fell on
particularly hard times. Their philosophy of life was one of fate – some you
win, some you lose – when things went bad you just had to pick yourself up and
start all over again. They liked a gamble – be it on boxing matches, pigeon
racing, dog fighting and even rat-killing matches. Most of all, of course, they
liked to indulge in a tipple or two. Not because they enjoyed a good old
booze-up and sing-song, more to do with being suspicious of water, what with
cholera & typhoid and all that. Besides, the Ale Houses, Gin Palaces &
the Penny Gaff Music Halls were warm & welcoming compared to their squalid
lodgings. By now most of London’s poorer working classes were hoarded together
outside the thriving City – dockers, sailors, immigrants & factory girls -
all living in slum conditions with little or no sanitation.
As London grew beyond the boundaries of the walled City -
costermongers in each Borough elected a ‘Coster King’ – they were chosen to
fight for their rights – the first form of trade union, if you like. Coster
Kings needed to be a hardy breed with leadership qualities, strong
personalities, physical strength and also be loyal and quick-witted. And it
wasn’t just the men – the female Billingsgate fishmongers were regarded as
fearsome characters! Coster Kings and Queens brought up their ‘Royal’ children
to follow in the tradition and inherit their titles.
Costers admired style & panache. They had evolved a
showmanship and cheeky banter that boosted their custom. They also developed
their own secret language – Coster back-slang – which pre-dated Cockney rhyming
slang. They used this language to good effect, confusing their punters and the
police when they wanted! With typical coster cheek they imitated the wealthy
West End society who by early 19th Century had developed a fashion for wearing
pearls – only the costers took it one step further by sewing lines of pearl
‘flashies’ on their battered hand-me-down waistcoats, caps and working
The transformation to the complete Pearly Costume as we know
it today finally came in the 1880s when a road sweeper and rat-catcher by the
name of Henry Croft completely smothered a worn out dress suit & top hat
with smoked pearl buttons – incorporating patterns, symbols and slogans – one
of which was ‘All For Charity’. Henry was a life long friend of the costers and
he was particularly influenced by their outlook on life – which was all about
helping one another and those less well off, even if you had little yourself.
He joined the costers on their hospital fund raising Parades and Carnivals. It
wasn’t long before all of the Coster Kings and Queens from London’s 28 boroughs
produced their own Pearly Costumes- realising that their shimmering outfits
delighted onlookers and worked wonders in raising funds for the charities.
While Pearly Kings and their princes decorated their caps, Pearly Queens and
their princesses wore ostrich feathers and bobby-dazzler earrings!
The Pearly attitude to life is one of pride – not just to
raise money, but to dispense it in true Cockney spirit – good heartedly and
without the recipient being made to feel humiliated. Money collected came from
their own kind – well-organised self-help – collected in the traditional manner
by providing a bit of good old Cockney entertainment in return. It is a tribute
to The Pearlies that they have never been found wanting when their services
have been called on. They have never looked for recognition but have been
awarded countless medals, honourary memberships, hospital governorships, etc in
appreciation of their achievements. The Societies & Organisations that The
Pearlies have helped reads like a role call of our most famous Charitable
institutions – with sums raised running into millions. But it is not just the
direct fundraising that Pearlies are famous for – their unique and honourable
traditions which have been built up over many centuries have enabled them to
act as ambassadors at home and abroad – adding to both tourism and trade -
visitors to our shores still expect to see something of our heritage, pageantry
Finally, we mustn’t overlook the fact that in today’s
hustle-bustle world, Pearlies unselfishly give up their spare time whenever
they can. Our ancestral Costers succeeded in fighting for our rights – which
leaves today’s Pearlies free to concentrate on charitable and educational work -
not forgetting, of course, spreading Cockney goodwill, spirit & cheer.
Taken from : www.pearlykingsandqueens.com
EXTRA SPECIAL FINE & BESPOKE DESIGNER JEWELLERY