Payne & Son was founded in 1790 and after eight generations is still run by members of the same family.
John Payne opened a silversmiths and jewellers in Wallingford in 1790, with other shops opening in Abingdon 1825, Banbury 1842 and Tunbridge Wells 1870, all run by various members of the Payne family. George Septimus Payne inherited the Abingdon shop in 1874, but 14 years later, he decided to move to Oxford. Payne & Son (Goldsmiths), Oxford, started trading in January 1889 and have been at 131 High Street ever since.
George Septimus was joined by his son, Geoffrey, who later went to work in the studio of Omar Ramsden and Alwyn Carr in Fulham. Here began Payne & Son's early connection with the English silver-making Arts and Craft movement. Payne & Son had a retail link with Ramsden and Carr and an advertisement in the Connoisseur in 1903 stated that the firm had been appointed their sole provincial agent. Geoffrey Payne left Ramsden and Carr and went on to the Birmingham Municipal School of Art, and subsequently opened a workshop in Oxford in 1907. The following year he took up an appointment as instructor at the Keswick School of Industrial Arts, but he tragically died of appendicitis in October 1908. This was a terrible loss to Payne & Son, it was now left to George Edward to continue his brother's association with contemporary makers and designers.
George Edward had joined his father in 1899 and took over the business in 1933 when George Septimus died. During the lean war years the new silver trade almost stopped and survival depended on selling second-hand and antique items. George Edward died in 1945 and the business was continued by his widow, Doris Mary, until their eldest son, Edward Peter, known as Peter, came into the firm in 1946 after serving for 5 years in the RAF. Peter was joined by his youngest brother, George Nicholas, known as Nick, in 1949.
In 1947 Payne & Son became a limited company. Peter Payne's daughter, Judy, joined the firm in 1969, followed by her son Max in 2010. So now, after 231 years, we have the 7th and 8th generations of Payne's in this family business in Oxford.
Payne & Son specialises in 20th century and contemporary silver, as well as modern jewellery, and is a major stockist of Georg Jensen.
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