At least a decade ago, I was working as a silversmith and artist-jeweller – I stopped ‘making’ around 2000 after a major life-event (that sounds very Oprah doesn’t it). Anyway, I had stuff in collections, on exhibition and in various galleries. I had mixed experiences – learned a lot of things along the way – lost work to thieves in badly secured galleries, and most spectacularly a couple of neckpieces to a smash-and-grab raid on a Gallery in the West of Scotland, when someone backed a car into the gallery window where my work was on display and nabbed the lot.
In general though, pretty good. One of the last places I sent work to was a newish but well-respected gallery in England. They receipted the work, so all was well. After a while, when I did check back with them – they’d disappeared. I think they went bust (although that’s probably the polite version). I tried emailing my contacts, called a few people – seemed like a lost cause. Gave up. Bit annoyed – more than a few quid down – but carried on. Every now and again over the past few years I’d do a random google check to see what I could find – nothing.
Fast forward to earlier tonight, and a neighbour dropped in a little package that had been wrongly left with them. Inside, are all of the pieces of silver I sent down to that gallery over a decade ago, filthy and in need of some TLC, but mine. With them was an anonymous note saying they’d been found in an archive, that some of them might be missing, but that if found, they’d be sent on to me in due course. No signature, no address or name, nothing. I think most of them, if not all, are there – can’t find my original receipt now – probably chucked it once I’d given up hope. How wonderful is that! I’m going to think of it as someone doing a truly good deed, whether from guilt or just kindness.
Thank-you whoever you are – it’s lovely to see things I made and hallmarked when I was a much-different person all those years ago. You could have kept them, sold them or passed them on to one of those annoying precious metal adverts that gum up the telly, but no, you packaged them up carefully and sent them home. To me. You’ve made my year.
Here’s to the good people.