Cultural Spotlight #22 – Newbridge Silver

July 07, 2016

newbridge_silverware-1Since 1934, Newbridge Silverware has been Ireland’s premier designer and producer of homeware and giftware products and it is this unique history of craftsmanship and experience, combined with a contemporary and fresh attitude to design, that puts Newbridge Silverware on the cutting edge of modern living.

At the turn of the 20th century, the town of Newbridge, in the heart of Co. Kildare was a thriving garrison community. The cavalry barracks in Newbridge was the largest overseas base in the British Empire. It housed over 3,000 troops. The troops and war horses used in the Crimean war and particularly the famous charge of the “Light Brigade” came from Newbridge. Great economic activity grew around this facility. In particular, metal finishing skills were developed. This all changed when the army vacated in 1921, leaving a huge economic vacuum.

The new Free State Government, aware of the problem throughout Ireland, encouraged the setting up of new manufacturing enterprises in the non-traditional areas outside the major cities.

For Newbridge, inspiration came from a local school teacher, Senator Cummins, the national leader of the Labour party – William Norton and Joe McGrath Snr who previously played a major part in the historic treaty negotiation of 1921. It was they who formed a committee to encourage local industrial development. The metal forging and finishing equipment left behind by the army and the local know how were combined to create a unique enterprise – The Newbridge Cutlery Company.

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In the early 1990’s the company re invented itself and became Newbridge Silverware. William Doyle succeeded his father and with the support of his mother Mrs. Mona Doyle and sister Oonagh, he further developed the family business.

Lifestyle was changing. The market became less formal. The desire for formal was being replaced with a preference for casual dining. Newbridge responded with the creation of more contemporary tableware products which were well received by a younger, trendy market.

The need to diversify gave rise to a major breakthrough in the companies’ fortunes, when it realized that available skills and technology could be adapted to manufacture a range of modern jewellery.

With an emphasis on the informal, the natural look of Newbridge jewellery quickly caught the imagination of the market and its success, helped ignite the spirit for subsequent jewellery ranges, new cutlery and giftware and even product innovation in kitchenware and wristwatches.

The brand has been associated with many high profile names such as supermodel and author Sophie Dahl, style icon Yasmin Le Bon, top international rugby players Keith Wood and Ronan O’Gara, Hollywood actress, Linda Gray , legendary style icon Audrey Hepburn and most recently the beautiful Amy Huberman.

In 2010 Newbridge Silverware announced an endorsement by the Princess Grace foundation in the form of THE PRINCESS GRACE JEWELLERY COLLECTION. This exclusive collection is the culmination of a 5-year relationship forged between Newbridge Silverware and the Princess Grace Foundation (PGF).

The link with Princess Grace was further solidified when Newbridge Silverware purchased two of Grace Kelly’s most iconic garments at the Princess Grace Foundation’s Gala Event. Personally selected by HRH Prince Albert, these two garments are now on permanent display in the Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons.

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The museum, rated as one of the top 5 free Tourist attraction in Ireland also features artefacts from some of the most notable stars and celebrities including Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson, Michael Flatley, the Beatles and many more.

Since 1934, Newbridge Silverware has been Ireland’s premier designer and producer of homeware and giftware products and it is this unique history of craftsmanship and experience, combined with a contemporary and fresh attitude to design, that puts Newbridge Silverware on the cutting edge of modern living.

For more information on Newbridge Silver location and facilities Click Here

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