Trade card circa 1850

Our treasure trove

Our recently restored archive contains correspondence, records and original designs dating back to 1780. It describes a rich creative legacy and two centuries of service to emperors, royalty, and leaders.

One can feel history amongst the papers which include letters from some of the most famous people of the last three centuries. There are numerous royal letters and a hand-written note of thanks from Sir Winston Churchill. Another record tells of the Duke of Wellington complaining he has been sent a spectacle case in the wrong colour (he wanted a red one).

As well as fascinating tales of the firm's distinguished patrons, the archive reveals a wealth of superbly crafted pieces. Elegant eyewear, beautifully engineered scientific instruments, fine items for writing, and amusement: all designed and crafted with a devotion to excellence.

It reveals Napoleon Bonaparte's telescope, beautifully decorated with a sowing of bees, as well as exquisite collections of luxury tortoiseshell, gold and platinum eyewear.

The house style of classic English elegance and understatement is clearly discernable. C.W. Dixey & Son has always been beyond fashion. Our famous clientele eschewed its dictates to create their own lasting style. Our eyewear was an important ingredient of their effortless sophistication.

IMAGE: Sir Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Emperor Qianlong of China. Photograph of Sir Winston Churchill, Casablanca 1943, courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum; version date 2009.