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Featured in the August 2012 issue

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Select customers of James Usher jewellers were entertained to a fabulous exhibition of fine jewellery at Hemswell Court near Gainsborough on Wednesday 30th May. The event was a celebration of 175 years of the famous firm.

Champagne and canapés were enjoyed by the guests as they admired a display of modern and antique jewellery, luxury Swiss watches, silver and clocks worth £8 million. In addition to Usher’s own diamond set collection, jewellery brands Fope, Cede, Al Coro, Lapponia and Clogau were on show.

Watches were represented by Omega, makers of the unrivalled Seamaster, Speedmaster and Constellation Collections; Rado, the inventors of the high-tech ceramic watch; and the exclusively mechanical Oris brand.

A superb collection of antique and period silver adorned an enormous dining table, laid out as if for a banquet. Also on display were items by young British designer silversmiths Katy Felton, Suzie Horan and Bryony Knox.

In his address to the guests, managing director James Frampton thanked Usher’s customers for their support. He summed up the evening as a “celebration of 175 years of supplying the good people of Lincolnshire with so many treasured possessions, backed up by friendly service and sound advice.”

Manager, Scott Ward said what a great success the evening had been and a pleasant opportunity to meet customers in a social setting.

The Usher business became synonymous with Lincoln in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century under the stewardship of the son of the founder, James Ward Usher. He secured the sole rights to use the Lincoln Imp in his work, and his Lincoln Imp jewellery became very popular. Even the Prince of Wales was spotted wearing a pin with the Imp, given to him by Usher himself.

Over a period of thirty years he built up a collection of ceramics, watches, clocks, coins, silver and miniatures in addition to paintings. He bequeathed his whole collection and almost sixty thousand pounds (the current equivalent of over £2 million) to the City of Lincoln on the understanding that it would form the basis for a museum and art gallery that would bear his name. Today the Usher Gallery has his collection on permanent display.

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  1. Barbara Lingard June 15, 2018

    James Ward Usher was my great grandpa and I would like to learn more of his family and descendants. In the article about the Usher art gallery nothing is said of his wife or children. I understand his daughter Carrie married Jim Thurman who were my father Williams parents. I also understand Carrie had two brothers Fred and Harry. Can anyone add to this please.

  2. Jane Riley March 01, 2019

    Does anyone know the whereabouts of James Ward Usher’s bequest of his collections and £59,000 to the people of Lincoln? I am involved in a campaign to save the art gallery, and would welcome some help with this.

  3. BBC Radio Lincolnshire May 01, 2019

    Can anyone help please? I’m producing a documentary about James Ward Usher and would very much like to trace one of his relatives for an interview. If anyone can help, please can you comment here. Many thanks!

  4. Susan Briars November 11, 2020

    I have just come across your page concerning James Ward Usher. My grandfather, Ernest Taylor was manager in Usher’s shop, and his actions saved the Usher collection for the City of Lincoln. When Usher was on his deathbed ,my Grandfather called in a solicitor so that Usher could make a will, because he had no issue, he left his estate to the city with enough money to build the gallery which bears his name. Sorry this info is late coming to you.

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