Wednesday 3 October, 2018
Paul Podolsky (1923 - 2018)
The distinguished jeweller and Liveryman of the Goldsmiths' Company, Paul Podolsky, has passed away aged 95.
Paul Podolsky’s career in jewellery spanned over 70 years. A Liveryman of the Goldsmiths’ Company, he worked both behind the bench and the executive’s desk, and served in senior positions on almost all of the country’s major trade bodies.
The son of Ukrainian parents who had moved to the UK in 1915, his father, Eyna Podolsky, built up a successful fine jewellery business in Charles Street (now Greville Street), Hatton Garden. As a boy, Paul made friends with the large team of diamond mounters, setters and apprentices and learnt to make tools, to melt scrap and to operate machinery.
In the harsh post-war climate, which included a punitive purchase tax on jewellery, the firm was forced to change direction by producing cheaper, 9 ct gold items and acquiring the jewellery sections of the large manufacturers Blanckensee and Albion Chain. However Paul continued his father’s tradition of training apprentices to the same exacting standards. Paul trained 10 apprentices during his career, firmly believing the craft needed technical expertise to survive.
Paul also established an award at the Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Awards annual prizegiving. Each year, the Podolsky award identifies and celebrates outstanding potential in silversmithing, jewellery or the allied trades and is given to a young designer or craftsman in education or the industry up to the age of 30.