The Noble Fool Collection was inspired by the character of Touchstone, the Fool in ‘As You Like It’. Shakespeare wrote the part for an actor who was also a Goldsmith. Touchstone’s role is to expose the truth – much like the real touchstones, which are used to test (assay) precious metals.
The character of Touchstone and his many memorable quotes are evidence that Shakespeare was aware of the role of an assayer in identifying counterfeit metals: “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” ‘As You Like It’ Act five, scene one.
This is why the starting point for this collection was a box pendant containing a fragment of a genuine touchstone and a flower pendant with five ‘touch needle’ petals that could be used to test precious metals. The Collection uses shapes and patterns from these Signature pieces:
- The fretwork pattern was inspired by the embroidery on Touchstone’s coat in the RSC’s production in 2000.
- The flower motif represents the Forest of Arden – its shape was taken from a tapestry that was inspiration for the set and costume design of the same production.
- The diamond shape of the large pendant is reminiscent of the harlequin patchwork that was characteristic of a Fool’s ‘motley’.
- The statue of Shakespeare’s Fool on Henley Street in Stratford upon Avon was the inspiration for the Fool motif.
Elements are cast in sterling silver and all work is hand-finished. Retail prices range from £50 to £250 and select pieces are available in rose gold and yellow gold vermeil. There are also some new pieces under development for this Collection.