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My Favourite Things: Theo Fennell

London jeweller Theo Fennell has an eclectic range of influences: from Victorian architecture to nature; Gothic excess to pop culture; Shakespeare to cricket.

Theo Fennell

Storytelling and imagination underpins Fennell’s work; his Fulham Road store is a true cabinet of curiosities: a self-styled ‘wunderkammern’ bursting with extraordinary silverware and bejewelled designs. Vehemently anti mass-production, Fennell is passionate about creating the kind of jewellery that you might see in the British Museum; the kind of artefact that could be a medieval piece someone left to their loved one. For instance, a hand-crafted fantasy ring opening up to reveal tiny worlds: the Emerald City recreated in miniature or a tiny Stonehenge painstakingly crafted in 18ct Gold. 

He feels that people are increasingly looking for a beautiful piece in which they have been emotionally and creatively involved, rather than seasonal, ready-to-wear jewellery lacking emotional heft or imagination. 

In a world post-COVID, there will be greater demand for beautifully made, unique pieces with meaning and less of a demand for seasonal, ready-to-wear jewellery lacking emotional heft, he believes. His bespoke business now accounts for around 60 percent of his business and he has noticed a growing appetite from his clients for pieces that are truly original and become associated with them.

“Times have reverted and there is an appreciation of quality and thoughtfulness; there is now an instinct to have something really special designed and made by people who are steeped in the traditions and love of jewellery-making," says Fennell. "I think that as we unwind from this dangerous period, people will much prefer a beautiful piece in which they have been emotionally and creatively involved.”

Fennell's home is also bursting with antiques, musical instruments and artwork. Here he shares his favourite personal pieces 


The books are a selection of those written by my wife and my eldest daughter. I keep them dotted around the house, to their embarrassment, as I am so proud of them. They are genuinely good books and seeing them reminds me that I have promised myself to write one.  

David Hockney etching of Celia Birtwell

I bought this when I was still at art school and received a small windfall. I had to sell it on one of the many occasions that money was tight, but I was able to buy back another number in the series years later. It hangs on the stairs so that, each time I pass it, I am reminded of my misspent youth and how fickle life is. 

The picture of me by Ronnie Wood and Adam Faith’s boots (the last piece of his stage costumes he had left)

These were both presents from them on my 50th birthday. They are in my study among a confusing collection of stuff that has resonance to me and looks like a jumble shop to anyone else.  

Some of my unwarranted collection of guitars

No one who plays as badly as me should own so many beautiful guitars, but I love them in a romantic way and find them irresistible. The one on its own is my favourite and was made by the Santa Cruz guitar workshop in California. I bought it at the Gibson factory shop in Nashville, now sadly closed.  

Cricket bat

This cricket bat was the last bat that I ever used and is half the width of the current bludgeons. It required a finesse to use that I didn’t have and I only keep it to show young people how the artistry has gone out of cricket in exactly the same way my father used to show me with his Jack Hobbs bat, which was the colour of a conker. 

Ceramic balls

These ceramic balls are ravishing in real life and were made by my other daughter, now a dress designer, when she was at school. Everyone who sees them asks about them and where they can buy some. I am tempted to invent a name and sell them to recoup some of her school fees.  

Shakespeare candlesticks 

These candlesticks are ones we made, something I had an ambition to do for years. They are an homage to the great man but also to the unbeatable tradition of English silversmithing, things I am passionate about. The workmanship is superlative and, when lit, the candles throw shadows as they would on a stage.