January 02 2013
Christina Ohly Evans
There can be no greater recommendation for a silversmith such as Thomas Lyte than
the fact that its commissions grace the homes of
heads of state (including royal palaces in the Middle East), superyachts and sporting arenas around the world. The company is a labour of
love for CEO Kevin Baker, who, five years ago, bought the ailing East End
silver workshop and reinvigorated its traditional English trade using cutting-edge design and state-of-the-art technology.
With its highly skilled team of polishers, crimmerers and wellsmen overseen by master silversmith Kevin Williams, Thomas Lyte can conceive and create a piece – whether spectacular silver chalices and trophies or traditional tea services – from a simple, initial sketch. Those not in the market for a Ryder Cup (which the company looks after) can find inspiration in a range such as the exquisite Spitfire collection, which includes sculptural vases (second picture, from £595), jugs (left in first picture, £550), and cocktail shakers (right in first picture, £595) – all of which can be ordered in various sizes and finishes.
Bespoke commissions typically take between two and four months to complete, depending on the level of complexity and materials involved. In addition to larger objets d’art, Thomas Lyte offers an array of men’s and women’s accessories – cuff links (from £35) and engraved compacts (from £15) – as well as collectible sterling-silver miniatures (from £175) and baby mugs (from £275) that make for perfect, customisable christening gifts.
Thomas Lyte is a brand founded on the values of “craftsmanship, Englishness, luxury and modernity”, and 10 per cent of all profits are donated to its eponymous foundation to provide support for emerging English artists and craftspeople. A commission not only celebrates traditional English skills, it’s a work of art that fuses the best of old and new in prize-winning fashion.