My maternal grandfather, Sydney Bellamy Harman, died long before I was born but it was through listening to stories of his life as a dealer in silver and jewellery that I first began to think that I too would like to buy and sell silver. On the right of this page are photographs of Lambert’s in Coventry Street, London, where my great-grandfather, Walter John Harman, worked from the late 1840’s and of Harman’s at 177 New Bond Street, London, which was my grandfather’s shop. I was fascinated as a boy by old objects that I found around my grandmother’s house – the way they were made and the surface texture they had acquired through age. When I was eight, I was given a copy of Bradbury’s ‘Book of Hallmarks’, still the best pocket guide to British Hallmarks, and I much enjoyed being able to date pieces of silver using the book.

I read history at university and began dealing in antique silver in 1974. Most of my early career was spent selling to other dealers but I began to exhibit at fairs – in particular the Haughton’s annual Silver and Jewellery Fair in the Dorchester Hotel in London – from the 1980’s. I was influenced by two books written by the late Eric Delieb, ‘Investing in Silver’ (1968) and ‘Silver Boxes’ (first published in 1970). As a consequence, much of my stock could be described as small-wares: boxes of all sorts, wine labels, sugar nippers, tickets, prize medals and the like. But I also stock serving pieces and flatware for the table, tea and coffee sets, salvers, trays, goblets, cups and bowls. In fact, I sell whatever I think has a sufficient measure of quality and interest or is, perhaps, just curious. Not all of our stock is solid silver. We sell some Old Sheffield Plate, Victorian electro-plate, and 18th century silvered brass, known as ‘French plate’.

I now have a small shop in the London Silver Vaults, where some of my stock can be viewed. Although the shop is usually open through the week, I am not always there myself because much of my time is spent either sourcing pieces for stock, or researching the history of silver-smithing in London. I also exhibit at the Haughton’s Summer Fair in London – ‘Art Antiques’.

I look forward, through this web-site, to keeping in touch with all the clients that I have met over the years at fairs in Britain and the United States. An equal welcome is extended to new clients!

Peter Cameron.

Opening Times

By appointment only.

Location

Vaults 54-57
The London Silver Vaults
Chancery Lane
London
WC2A 1QS