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Mappin & Webb is a leading retailer of fine silverware and jewellery based in London and is renown as a purveyor of luxury goods holding Royal Warrants to Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales. The firm started in 1774 when Jonathan Mappin opened his first silversmith workshop in Sheffield, entering his mark in 1775. His reputation for quality grew and as the business expanded, he was given Freedom of the Cutlers Company in 1780. Mappin’s sons and grandsons continued the business, and it was his four great grandsons who incorporated the business as Mappin Brothers Ltd around 1845. In 1849, they opened their first retail shop in Fore Street, London and this was quickly joined by two more in Moorgate and King William Street. However, as the business grew, each of the brothers took their own path. The eldest brother William was knighted and he left Mappin Brothers handing his shares over to the remaining three brothers. The youngest brother, John, also left Mappin Brothers and set up his own business Mappin & Company opening his first store in 1860 in Oxford Street. John invited his brother-in-law to join him in 1864 but George Webb died just as Mappin, Webb & Co was formed. In 1889, Mappin & Webb Ltd was registered and they focused on manufacturing in Sheffield. In the meantime, Mappin Brothers continued to open retail stores across the world as the British Empire grew. The business was sold in 1884, but the new owners lost direction and eventually failed. In 1903, John Mappin (of Mappin Webb Ltd), bought the original London retail business of Mappin Brothers and amalgamated it into Mappin & Webb Ltd. In 1898, they produced their famous Campaign watch which was supplied to troops for the battle of Omdurman in the Sudan, proving its worth in desert conditions. It went on to be standard issue in the Boer War. In 1904, the Maharaja Raj Bhawaur Singh commissioned a complete silver bedroom suite including a four-poster bed, chest of drawers and tables all sumptuously decorated with cherubs. It was displayed in the window of their Oxford Street store and attracted such a large crowd that the police asked for it to be removed on the grounds of public safety. Throughout the early part of the 20th century, boutiques were opened up across the world including Buenos Aires, Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bombay and Cairo. The factories in Sheffield were given over to the war effort for both the First and Second World wars. In the 1950s the company experienced a new heyday when it was commissioned to provide tableware and cutlery to the QE2 (Queen Elizabeth’s private yacht), as well as to the entire fleets of leading cruise liners and also to most of London’s premier hotels. In 2012, Mappin & Webb’s master craftsman was appointed to the post of Crown Jeweller, the custodian of the Crown Jewels responsible for preparing them for all state occasions. Mappin & Webb received its first Royal Warrant as silversmiths to Queen Victoria in 1897. They have continued to hold Royal Warrants as silversmiths to each of the five subsequent monarchs. The company is now part of the privately held Aurum Holdings Ltd.