• John Ainsworth

    Ainsworth's Homeopathic Pharmacy
  • Drew Clark

    Drew Clark and Co. ladders
  • David Wilkinson

    R.Wilkinson and Son, glass restorers to the Queen

150 years of the Royal Warrant and its holders

Published in 1989, ‘By Appointment’ is a specially commissioned publication of photographs by Jorge Lewinski and Mayotte Magnus, with words by Tim Heald.

I can now reveal that my husband, Jorge Lewinski, was not excited by this commission. But I relished the challenge, so Jorge asked me take most of the photographs.
    How to avoid the repetition of shops, offices, factories? And how would we depict the various professions and the personalities of the Warrant Holders? How to transcend the obvious? It was a thrilling adventure. The Holders were overflowing with charm, humour and impeccable courtesy towards this demanding French woman photographer.
    Mr Ainsworth, of homeopathic renown, popped a minute pill on his tongue with a mischievous look; in the Lock hatters’ storeroom, the Holders were statues among hat boxes with only a dash of red. I went up in the cradle outside the fourteenth floor with the Mayfair window cleaner while the Holder was on the roof. The gloves from Cornelia James became puppets in a theatre created by her scarves. In Turnbull and Asser, the shirts were displayed on stands and on the Holder. I asked Rugby and Peller to create a pink corset which was then worn by my daughter in two images inspired by Manet and Velasquez. Amongst the hunting rifles of Holland and Holland, the Holder’s reflection bent in the convex mirror in homage to the Arnolfini wedding painting. In Hamleys of Regent street, I borrowed a little girl from her parents and put her among toys of the same size. In the Aberdeen showroom, the Holder, a Hitchcock ‘look alike’, added an air of mystery to an otherwise trivial scene. The Gold leaf makers recreated the Dutch painting of the money lenders, from the ingots to the gold leaf the whole process is captured in one photograph. In the cellar of W.H. Gidden, saddlers to the Queen, the Holder wore his riding gear and sat on a wooden horse among his saddles.
    What else to do in central London? The shop of Wiggins and Sons was full of frames, so the Holder became a portrait in an angled frame catching the light of perpetuity. Sometimes, the situations were hung for the poets eye; the Drew Clark ladders, the Wilkinson glass, the smoker of hams for Emmets framed by the shack at the end of his tiny garden. Also Hewit of Edinburgh, curers of skins; or Culford Fencing on a rainy day.
    I remember each of these encounters because they will forever reflect the human quality and excellence of the people who dedicated themselves to these perfect products. Obviously the Royal Family knows whom to choose among its subjects!
    Seventy leather bound copies of the book were presented to the queen.