We hold leopards very close to our hearts at the Assay Office. The leopard’s head is the town mark of London, and its image is used all around Goldsmiths’ Hall and our sub-offices – in the carpets, the stonework, the wallpaper – and we even sponsor a big cat through the Born Free foundation.
So when Grant Macdonald revealed his piece 'The Leopard Reclines' we were purring with delight. The work is a result of 160 hours by fourteen individual craftsmen. 20 pieces of the animal were fitted together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle and hand-finished to ensure a seamless surface. Each individual hair on the body is chased into the silver by hand, taking an estimated 70 hours to complete the entire Leopard.
The Grant Macdonald team launched the stunning piece last week saying “the symbol of the Leopard has long been synonymous with British silversmithing. Since 1327, all items hallmarked in London have received the mark of a Leopard’s Head as the symbol of authentication.”