Andrew Grima in his studio in Sonning, Berkshire, 1969
Andrew Peter Grima
31 May 1921
Lungotevere Mellini 51, Rome, Italy
|Died||26 December 2007 (aged 86)|
|Education||University of Nottingham|
|Known for||Modern jewellery design|
|Parent(s)||John Grima, Leopoldina Farnese|
Andrew Grima (31 May 1921 – 26 December 2007) was an Anglo-Italian designer who became known as the doyen of modern jewellery design in Britain.
Grima was born in Rome to Italian-Maltese parents and raised in London, where he attended Salesian College, Battersea and St Joseph's College, Upper Norwood. He later studied mechanical engineering at the University of Nottingham. The family was artistic and creative: his father was an embroidery designer and Grima's brothers became architects, helping design his London showroom in 1966.
After the war, he started work in his father-in-law's jewellery firm in London, Haller Jewellery Company Limited (H.J. Co) initially in the accounts department, before moving into design.
He became the foremost modern jewellery designer in the West End of London in the 1960s and 1970s, selling designs from his exclusive gallery at 80 Jermyn Street, Mayfair featuring the world's first perspex spiral staircase (1970) built by Peter Rice and Ove Arup. In 1970 he designed the successful "About Time" watch collection for Omega and in 1976 a collection of gold digital LED watches for Pulsar
Grima won several awards for his contribution to the jewellery industry. Namely, he was the only jeweller to win the Duke of Edinburgh Prize for Elegant Design and won 13 De Beers Diamonds International Awards; more than any other jeweller. His clients included members of the British Royal family, as well as Barbara Hepworth and Jacqueline Onassis.
Notable pieces include Queen Elizabeth II's ruby brooch, as well as a brooch of lichen cast in gold for Princess Margaret. More recently, fans of his work have included fashion designers Miuccia Prada and Marc Jacobs.
Grima married twice, firstly in 1947 to Helène Haller, niece of the Viennese jeweller who brought Grima into the trade. The couple had a son and two daughters; they divorced in 1977.
The same year, Grima married Jojo Maughan-Brown, great-granddaughter of Sir Thomas Cullinan. They had one daughter, Francesca, who – together with her mother – continues the family business.
Francesca and Jojo moved back to London in 2012. They have continued the family business by creating unique and bespoke pieces handmade in Britain by Andrew's master craftsmen.
- Carter, Philip (January 2011), "Grima, Andrew Peter (1921–2007)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/99286
- Guardian obituary https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2008/jan/18/3
- "About Grima". grimajewellery.com.
- "The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Sunday Brooch: The Grima Ruby". orderofsplendor.blogspot.co.uk.
- Independent obituary https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/andrew-grima-designer-who-shook-up-british-jewellery-with-his-flamboyant-ideas-770924.html
- Grima Jewellery
- Obituary in The Times, 5 January 2008
- Obituary in The Independent 18 January 2008
- Obituary in The Guardian, 18 January 2008
- 'Grima the great: a personal recollection of a 1960s jewellery design visionary' in Wallpaper*, 19 September 2017
- 'Andrew Grima’s Work Returns to the Spotlight' in The New York Times, 12 September 2017
- 'Collecting vintage Grima jewellery' in How To Spend It, 17 November 2017