William Comyns (1885 - 1930)
This important firm of manufacturing silversmiths was established by William Comyns c. 1859 when he purchased the business of Robert Tagg, Robert Tagg moved in 1857 to his new residence and manufactory at 2 Carlise Street, Soho Square.
William Comyns, thereafter listed as a silversmith, appears to have purchased the business in 1858 or early 1859, entering his first marks from the first same address. He moved to 1 Percy Mews, Rathbone Place, the to 16 Silver Street, Golden Square, Soho, and subsequently to Beak Street, Regent Street. These premised were later expanded to 41, 43, and 45 Beak street and to 41, 43, 45, 47 Beak Street. Additional premises were taken from c. 1903 at 54 Marshall Street, Soho.
The style of the firm was changed to William Comyns & Son c. 1885 when William Comyn's two sons, Charles Harling Comyns and Richard Harling Comyns were admitted to their partnership. William Comyns died in January 1916, and C.H. Comyns while attending a sale in Christie's in 1925.
William Comyns first appears to have made a significant impact in the early 1880s by supplying increasingly large numbers of decorative wares in silver, many of which were die-stamped. London retailers of their products at this period included Henry Lewis, Howell & James Ltd., etcetera.
The business was incorporated as limited liability company as William Comyn's & Sons Ltd., registered on 20th October 1930, with R.H. Comyns as permanent governing director. Upon the latter's death in 1953, when the firm is said to have lost its former prominence, William Comyns & Sons Ltd was purchased by Bernard Copping.