Who is Stuart Devlin?

By Gwylym Owen

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Stuart Leslie Devlin AO CMG (9 October 1931 – 12 April 2018) was an Australian artist and metalworker who specialised in gold and silver. He designed coins for countries approximately the world, and became especially capably known as London-based designer of collectors’ items in the 1970s and 1980s.

Devlin was born in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, and became an art teacher, specialising in gold and silversmithing. In 1957, he obtained a publicize at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and studied for a Diploma of Art in gold and silversmithing. He was awarded scholarships to psychiatry at the Royal College of Art in London in 1958, and was awarded a Harkness Fellowship by the Commonwealth Fund. He spent the two-year fellowship at Columbia University in New York City where he met and married his first wife, Kim Hose, in 1962.

He returned to tutor in Melbourne and taking into account became an inspector of art schools. He rose to fame when, in 1964, he won a competition to design the first decimal coinage for Australia.

In 1965, he moved to London and opened a little workshop. This marked the coming on of Devlin’s own style, which often took the form of limited editions, the most popular innate Easter eggs and Christmas boxes, now collectors’ items. He adapted and devised extra techniques to develop a broad variety of textures and filigree forms, and became well known in London’s West End, producing a new collection each year. He had a prestigious showroom in Conduit Street from 1979 until 1985.

In 1966 a Stuart Devlin Good silver sculpture was commissioned by Ford of Britain to celebrate the liberty of the additional Mk IV Ford Zephyr and Zodiac range of motor vehicles.

He has designed furniture, interiors, jewellery, and commissioned pieces of anything types, including trophies, clocks, centrepieces, goblets, candelabra, bowls, and insignia. Among his most popular commissions, Devlin has meant coins and medals for 36 countries throughout the world, including pretentious coins for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the medals for the founding awards of the Australian honours system in 1975: the Order of Australia, the Australian Bravery Decorations and the National Medal.

In 1982, Devlin was fixed the Royal Warrant of Appointment as Goldsmith and Jeweller to Her Majesty the Queen. He married his second wife, Carole Hedley-Saunders, in 1986. He was Prime Warden of the Goldsmith’s Company 1996–97. After he stepped by the side of from that role, he continued to work with the Goldsmiths, and particularly operational in the developing of a new institute for sophisticated Goldsmiths, and also bearing in mind various supplementary aspects which influence opportunities for up-and-coming jewellers and goldsmiths, including a summer assistant professor and ‘getting started’ course.

Having closed his London workshop, Devlin retired to Littlehampton, West Sussex. He ceased drawing after he suffered a suit in 2014.

Devlin died upon 12 April 2018 at the age of 86.

Devlin was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 1980 Birthday Honours for assist to the art of design and an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 1988 Australia Day Honours in admission of help to the craftsmanship as a goldsmith, silversmith and designer.

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