Descended from the Harcourt family through the female line, Paul Chapman’s brother-in-law, Michael made a promise to his Grand Mother, Rosemary Elizabeth Harcourt Francis, that he would always remember her lineage. Therefore, he asked Paul to create him a bespoke Signet Ring to include his family’s heritage.
Paul worked with Michael to create a design that Michael was happy with and would love to wear with pride, showing off his family heritage. Molten Gold was poured into an Ingot mould to create a rough shape, this was before rolling it out into a sheet and hand beating it around a mandrel to create a round shape. This allowed Paul to solder the joins creating a large ring.
By hand working the metal in this fashion, it removes any bubbles caused by the pouring process, this is a very important method as bubbles from casting can cause cracking once the ring is heated. From the rough stage of a ring, the side is cut off using a piercing saw and then several hours of filing to create the oval crescent of the head and the desired shape of the shank. Smoother grades of filing follow before it is smoothed up with emery paper before two stages of polishing.
The Harcourts first recorded ancestor was Bernard the Dane. A noble Viking, accompanying Bishop Rollo on his expedition from his Northern Lands into an area of France, now known as Normandy A.D 896.
Anguerrand d’Harcourt, a descendant of Bernard’s, fought in the Battle of Hastings in 1066 as the Aide de Camp of William the Conqueror. It was, however, another century or so before his branch of the Harcourt family settled in England.
Honourable traits were displayed throughout the history by the ancestors who, on both sides of the channel ensured the well-being of those in their care: both tenants and workers. In France, this philanthropic attitude ensured they were saved from the horrors of the revolution by their servants who helped the family escape, en masse, to the safety of English soil where they took refuge with their English cousins until safe.
What better way to show the pride of your heritage and bring your family closer together than having a set of family crest signet rings or pendants made for each family member. If you have family heritage and would love to incorporate it into a bespoke piece of jewellery, contact the team today to arrange your FREE consultation. You’ll even be invited into the workshop to have a go at the bench and leave your mark on the piece.
Enjoy experiencing the creation from molten gold to a beautifully finished signet ring.