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The St.George Reliquary Casket, England, 14th century. Museum no. 634-1870

The St.George Reliquary Casket, England, 14th century. Museum no. 634-1870

The Archive of Art and Design's holdings for metalwork offer an insight into its use in an everyday setting. There are presentation drawings of hand-forged wrought iron gates and railings produced by Hyders Ltd along with their albums of designs and costings for furnishings such as candlesticks, firescreens, mirrors and cocktail cabinets. There is also a selection of photographs of delicately patterned personal items such as a hairbrush, a comb and a glove-stretcher by jewellery and metalwork designer William Snelling Hadaway. At the other end of the scale, London Lorries Ltd designed and manufactured the bodywork and interiors of coaches and lorries between 1919 and 1933. Their archives include account books, day books and sales details as well as photographs of the vehicles.

Lighting design and medals are also represented in the collections with the archives of medallist George Gamon Adams who created the prize medals for the Great Exhibition of 1851 and of Sidney William Hamlyn who designed the lighting for many London cinemas and theatres.

For more details please consult the Guide to the Archive of Art and Design, Victoria & Albert Museum by Elizabeth Lomas (London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2001), which not only lists the AAD archives, but also identifies related material in the V&A Museum and other institutions. Most of the archives are also listed on the National Art Library catalogue.

The V&A's Archive of Art and Design holds the working papers of individual artists and designers, as well as the records of companies and associations involved in all aspects of applied art and design. The archives can be consulted by appointment at Blythe House, located near Olympia in West London.

Read more about the V&A Archive of Art and Design


  • George Gamon Adams, medallist and sculptor: papers, c.1820-c.1979.


  • William Snelling Hadaway, jewellery and metalwork designer: papers, c.1900-35.

Wrought Iron

  • Hyders Ltd, art metal workers: records, c.1930-c.1980.

Related subjects

  • A.C. Adamson, light fitting designer: papers, 1851-1970.
  • Sidney William Hamlyn, lighting designer: papers, 1876-1966.
  • London Lorries Ltd, commercial motor body builders: records, 1919-c.1933.
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Archive of Art and Design
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