Wednesday, 24 November 2010

James Sherwood

In Autumn 2007, Gieves & Hawkes MD Mark Henderson asked James Sherwood to assist Mr Robert Gieve - fourth and last generation in the family firm - to curate an Archive Room at No 1 Savile Row for the great bespoke tailoring house. Founded in 1785 and 1771, Gieves & Hawkes had impeccable pedigrees as naval and military tailors respectively beginning with iconic customers Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Gieves & Hawkes has held the Royal Warrant for every successive monarch from George III in 1809 to the present Queen. It was Mr Robert's life's work to rebuild the Gieves archive that had been decimated first by a direct hit during the Blitz in 1940 and then by an IRA bomb in 1975. Mr Robert's tragic death in November left Sherwood with the task of preparing the Archive Room for public display. It was only after Mr Robert's death that it became clear how many secrets still lay in the vaults underneath No 1; not least the history of Hawkes & Co. Mr Gieve had understandably given precedence to his family and the Royal family. With the keys to the vault underneath No 1, a warehouse full of long neglected uniforms and a war chest to acquire significant antique pieces at auction, Sherwood began piecing the histories of these remarkable firms and their illustrious customers back together. The Archive Room officially opened in May 2008.

The Grand Staircase at No 1 Savile Row, the 'wall of fame', displaying 75 portraits of the companies' famous and infamous customers.Wall of fame portraits including Prince Aly Khan, Sir Michael Caine, President Clinton and David Beckham.

A 1925 Gieves Ltd Aviator's helmet similar to those later worn for the 1933 first flight over Everest.

A panorama of the Gieves & Hawkes Archive Room with the deeds to No 1 Savile Row dating from 1735 displayed in the central glass table.

>HRH Prince of Wales and Lady Camilla visit the archive.

A collection of books published for the Royal Navy by Gieves' own publishing house founded in 1916.

very early Gieves Ltd RAF tunic dated within ten years of the service being founded by HM King George V in 1918.

RAF Director of Music Ceremonial Busby with Ostrich Plume

Hawkes & Co ledgers (some dating back to 1840) with a bundle of complete company accounts dated 1880-1917 in the foreground

A detail of a c.1900 Simpson & Co livery made for the Earl of Dudley's London mansion.

Gieves Ltd 1890 Rear Admiral's Full Dress Tunic and Cocked Hat.

A collection of Royal Naval shoulder plates, belt buckles and buttons found in the vaults at No 1 Savile Row in a tin chest inscribed J B & Co Ltd. Barker was a subsidiary company owned by Gieves Ltd. Swan feather helmet and greatcoat of HM The Queen's Gentlemen-at-Arms tailored by Hawkes & Co and last worn at the funeral of HM King George V1 in 1952.

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