Dr. Anne Shannon's impressive collection of over 300 pieces began over 50 years ago with a modest purchase of an unassuming silver pendant by Georg Jensen. This ignited a passion for jewellery, spurring Anne into amassing a selection of over 100 pieces of silver jewellery by Jensen through the 1960s whilst pursuing a successful career in medicine in London.
As her interest in jewellery grew, Anne devoted more of her limited leisure time to this new passion; reading widely, visiting dealers, and attending auctions, even undertaking a short course at Sotheby's and joining the Society of Jewellery Historians. A chance meeting with the late Muriel Wilson (former editor of Jewellery History Today) sparked the next phase of Anne's collection, through an opportunity to volunteer at Goldsmith's Hall. One day a week, for several years, Anne and Muriel helped to organise and archive an extensive bequeathed collection of Omar Ramsden / Ramsden & Carr design drawings. Her intimate involvement with this work encouraged Anne to begin buying examples of their jewellery; pendants, bracelets, brooches, rings, and earrings, steadily growing this new collection in parallel with her Georg Jensen range. By this time, Anne had become increasingly focused on Jensen's early work, guided by Michael von Essen, the longstanding curator of Jensen's antique department and museum in Copenhagen.
Anne continued to widen the scope of her interest in jewellery, developing her knowledge through increased involvement with London's antique dealers. Trips to Paris, New York, Maastricht, Copenhagen and Asia enabled her to embrace a range of British and European designers, creating new sections in her ever-growing collection. These included Giuliano, Castellani, Lalique, Fabergé, Mellilo, Falize, Froment Meurice, Child & Child, and a range of designers from the British Arts & Crafts and the Art Nouveau scenes. In 2004 one of Anne's favourite Castellani bracelets (lot 276) was selected by The BARD Graduate Center in New York for display in an exhibition of classical revival jewellery, before being transferred for a further exhibition period in Rome.
Now retired with her husband John in Buckinghamshire, the catalogue 'Jewellery by Design' provides a retrospective into a lifetime’s passion and a legacy to be treasured by their son, daughter and five collective grandchildren.