In 1893 James Roberts Ogden opened what was to become one of the most renowned jewellers in England. The beautiful Edwardian shop front and showrooms still retain many of the original Edwardian fixtures and fittings. "James Roberts Ogden in particular was blessed with a personality which appears to have captured all with whom he came into contact with. Described by many as electric, captivating, or magnetic."
“What a time to be Alive in Harrogate!” The British Empire at its zenith. The seemingly immortal Queen Victoria celebrating her Diamond Jubilee and the magnificent new Royal Baths scheduled to be opened by his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge. Economic growth in the town positively exploded in the years to 1914, boosted by the wonderful progress of public transport which allowed the wealthy manufacturing classes of the North of England to visit resorts, which had previously been the exclusive domain of the aristocracy.
The outbreak of the first world war must have come as a great shock to the citizens of Harrogate - now accustomed to having the crowned heads of Europe in their midst. Tragedy struck in 1917 when JRO's youngest son Walter was wounded on 1st December at the battle of Cambrai, dying the following day. He was just 19 years of age and had the rank of second lieutenant, in charge of a tank nicknamed 'Harrogate'. The three surviving sons William, John and James (2nd) went on to run the business successfully both in Harrogate and London premises up until the Second World War.
J.R. Ogden was a renowned historian, specialising in Egyptology, acting as adviser to Howard Carter and Sir Leonard Wooley. Carter later went on to discover the Tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. In 1932, J.R.Ogden was listed as 'Advising Goldsmith to the British Museum' and was closely involved in the restoration of some of the rarest gold artefacts now found in museums worldwide.
This is a replica of the Imperial State Crown, part of the Crown Jewels, commissioned by Ogdens in our own workshops in 1937 to celebrate the coronation of King George VI. Also worn at this coronation was Empress Josephine's tiara, remodelled in Ogden of Harrogate's workshops.
On the left is a photograph of Sir Winston Churchill receiving his silver cigar case made by our silversmith in Harrogate. This was one of many commissions received by Ogdens for heads of state and royalty. Other prestigious clients have included the Roosevelts, King George VI and Princess Marina.
In 1982 the founder's grandsons Denis, Guy and Jim all retired. Denis's elder son Glen became Managing Director and his wife Mary-Jane was appointed Company Secretary. Glen entered semi-retirement in 2009 after a splendid 50 years in the business.
The Little Diamond Shop opens in York. The name is taken from the original Harrogate 1893 Ogden shop. It stocks both traditional and contemporary jewellery, including cutting edge collections from designers. Luxury watch brands and a large collection of vintage watches also form part of the collection. All the Ogden of Harrogate services such as repairs, remodelling and bespoke design are also offered.
The James Street premises undergo major renovations and modernisation. The stunning new Regency Room and glass walled workshops are installed.
Ogden of Harrogate celebrates 125 years by returning to to one of its more unusual commissions: The vast, solid silver-gilt ram that had been specially commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Weavers in 1929 was 'repatriated' to Harrogate for a special showcase to mark the anniversary. News Article
The company is now run by the fifth generation of the family: Ben Ogden FGA and Robert Ogden. Following the opening of Ogden's York in the shadow of the famous Minster, the business now occupies two beautiful sites. News Article
125 Years in Harrogate
Featuring excerpts from Malcolm G Neesam: '120 years - A history of a family business'.
Full articles and historical artefacts can be viewed upstairs in the Regency Room at the James street premises.