In April 1900, an exquisite collection of items gathered for the Paris Exhibition attracted significant attention at the Goldsmiths’ and Silversmiths’ Company showrooms on Regent Street. Among these, a pearl necklace, regarded as the finest in the world, caught the eyes of the invited ladies. The company had devoted years to collecting the pearls meant for the necklace, appraised at an astonishing sum of £90,000. Additional dazzling items on display included smaller pearl necklets and a single luminous diamond valued at £12,000.
The exhibition also showcased magnificent gold and silver works, such as a reproduction of the Ardagh chalice, a unique artifact unearthed in County Limerick and currently displayed at the museum of the Royal Irish Academy. Intriguingly, a casket designed to be presented to the Queen by the Dublin Corporation was based largely on the lines of this ancient cup. Other reproductions on view consisted of the Augsburg Cup from the 15th century and the 16th-century Norwich salt-cellar, both set to make an appearance at the Paris Exhibition.
Visitors also marveled at the unique glass items created through a secret enameling process which had taken a decade to complete. The general public was granted an opportunity to admire the collection when it opened for viewing the following Saturday.
Manchester Courier – Wednesday 04 April 1900