A stunning pure gold claret jug is on show for the first time at Goldsmiths' Fair, which is takes place at Goldsmiths' Hall in the City of London until Sunday 5 October 2008. The jug, which weighs 2.1kg and stands 38cm high, was designed and made by Martyn Pugh as a special commission for a client, a businessman who has collected Pugh's works for 15 years.
With the recent rise in the price of gold the jug has already increased in value by 20 per cent. The jug is unique but to commission a similar jug today would cost in the region of £250,000.
Pugh says: "My client wanted an asset that was not simply a value on a piece of paper but something that was beautiful and tangible, that combined both the intrinsic value of gold with uniqueness and artistry. He now has an asset that he can use and enjoy on a daily basis as well as being a future heirloom for members of his family – or as my client said 'an everlasting investment'."
The idea for the solid gold jug was conceived some years ago but before it could become a reality a considerable amount of research and experimentation was required to find a gold that would be strong enough to create a practical jug. Pugh felt that 24carat gold would not be practical for a jug that was to be frequently used. His research led him to a gold that is 99 per cent pure, with one per cent titanium.
This particular gold has a special quality of being able to be fashioned in a soft condition and then hardened by heating. Although it had only previously been used for making jewellery and not pieces on such a large scale, Pugh realised that it could provide the solution to the problem - and manufacturing the jug possibile.
The gold was purchased and the jug made and finished just in time to go on display at Goldsmiths' Fair before being delivered to the client.
For more information, visit www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk and www.martynpugh.co.uk