A Commission From The Royal Naval College

Mallards was approached recently to create a silver pin for the Royal Naval College in Greenwich. They needed twenty commemorative badges for a presentation – and they left the design completely up to us…

Home to some of the most stunning architecture in England, Greenwich is full of inspirational details. The buildings that form the Old Royal Naval College mostly date from between 1696 and 1712, and were designed by Sir Christopher Wren as a naval hospital. When this closed in 1869, the buildings became the Royal Naval College, which was based here until 1998.

Wren’s beautiful buildings are on the site of the Tudor Greenwich Palace, birthplace of Henry VIII and both his daughters, Mary I and Elizabeth II. Henry VIII’s favourite residence was neglected during the Civil War, and was demolished to make way for the elegant Baroque buildings that we see today.

Douglas’ keen eye for detail found inspiration in the Admiral’s House. This 17th-century house is part of the oldest building in the Old Royal Naval College, and was commissioned by Charles II as a royal residence. This elegant townhouse has become a popular venue for weddings, with its perfectly-proportioned rooms and views across the Thames.

Douglas didn’t find his inspiration by gazing out of the window: rather, he looked down. There is a striking black and white roundel in the tiled floor in the hallway, with an abstract compass design.

With its clear lines and maritime associations, the floor design would be just right for the commemorative pin. It was time to turn the photograph into a drawing, then a CAD design, before making the first sample in silver.

We adapted the pattern to create a simple outline. The roundel in the centre is inscribed with “1694”, the date the naval hospital was founded. With the design approved, we could go ahead and make the commemorative pins for the Royal Naval College’s commission.

The two-tone pattern of the original design is maintained through textures in the sterling silver. As well as representing the maritime compass, the badge is also reminiscent of the rising sun image, a symbol that harks back to Greenwich’s Tudor history.

It’s an elegant little pin, which can be worn by both men and women. We were delighted to be asked to create the commemorative badge for the Naval College, and hope that the recipients enjoy wearing this small piece of Greenwich’s long history.

Do you have an event or anniversary that needs commemorating? You can commission Mallards to design and make a special piece of jewellery for the occasion. There’s no minimum order, and bespoke doesn’t mean expensive. In fact, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how reasonable our quote is.

If you’d to commission Mallards to create an original design for you, or if you’d simply like to find out more, please contact us for a chat. We also produce quality souvenirs for heritage gift shops; and again, there’s no minimum order.