About Jack Shaw & Co.
Jack Shaw & Co. was established by my father, Jack Shaw, in 1945. In 1965 I moved to London, spending three years with a colleague of my father’s as part of my introduction to the silver trade. This gave me easy access to Sotheby’s and other major London auction rooms enabling me to acquire a valuable insight into workings of the silver trade. In 1968 I left London and returned to Ilkley to take over the running of the business and have traded here ever since.
We are based in the Old Grammar School in the spa town of Ilkley, West Yorkshire. The Domesday Book, dating to 1086, listed Ilkley as being owned by William de Percy 1st Baron Percy. It was after this time in 1642, fourteen townsmen contributed to the cost of building the Old Grammar School which remained a school until 1872.
Eventually Ilkley was obtained by the Middelton family of Myddelton Lodge, from about a century after the time of William the Conqueror. The family lost possession of Ilkley through a number of land sales and mortgage repossessions spanning a hundred year period, beginning in the early nineteenth century. The agents of William Middelton (1815–1885) were responsible for the design of the new town of Ilkley to replace the village which had stood there before.
The school moved to Cowpasture Road in 1893 but the building remains today and is one of the oldest in Ilkley.
Jack Shaw and Co. is very much a family business with my sister, son and daughter all working for the company for varying periods over the last 40 years.