Hand Engraving

Hand engraving dates back centuries …

At John W. Thompson and Son in Sydney we admire the historical prevalence of hand engraving throughout history. It has been found that hand engraving was particularly popular in Greece during the 3rd and 4th centuries B.C. At this time urns were also embellished with scenes or illustrations from mythology. When the alphabet was born this also increased the use of engraving as a way to commemorate special dates or immortalise philosophical sayings.

Hand engraving on our precious metals…

In the Victorian period engraving became a popular way to decorate jewellery, weapons, and other metal objects. Today these types of objects are still often used for decorative engraving. The engravers decorated many metals such as silver, pewter, German silver, and gold. They would use small special chisels known as ‘gravers’, and often added the use of small hammers to assist the work. Today at John W. Thompson and Son we most often engrave the following metals but are open to experimenting with other surfaces and metals that are important to you:

Hand engravings became family heirlooms…

Those engravers in the Victorian era who were fortunate enough to possess examples of work that were thought of highly, would hand them down through generations as precious heirlooms, some still exist in families today. Engraved service pieces graced dining tables, clock makers commissioned engraved clock faces, and personalised watchcases, lockets, and rings, which often had the engraved monogram or name of the chosen recipient. When deciding to get your precious piece hand engraved you are inevitably creating a family heirloom of your own, it’s never to late to celebrate family tradition.

The historical techniques still used at John W. Thompson and Son…

Hand Engraving has evidently been present throughout history and over time has formulated into a distinguished art form, which has produced treasured heirlooms and family keepsakes. With the unique techniques and personal trademarks used by the engraver, hand engraving enriches the personality of the piece as well as the wearer.

At John W. Thompson and Son they use traditional techniques wherein they rely on touch, vision and controlled pressure to precisely cut letters or patterns into hard surfaces and precious metals. Hand engravers are disciplined in more that one talent, they must use the imagination and rhythm of an artist, with the steady hand of a surgeon as well as patience. With Master Hand Engravers, John W. Thompson and Son, every design is skilfully engraved using small engraving chisels. Every scroll and letter is unique in its design and marking. Patterns, monograms as well as messages and phrases in any language and style of lettering can be hand engraved into your prized possessions.

Contact Us

Opening Hours

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – 9:30am to 4:30pm

Wed – 9:30am to 3:30pm (until further notice)

Sat, Sun, Mon – Closed


Suite 1B, Level 4, The Dymocks Building,
428 George Street
Sydney, NSW, 2000


(02) 9233 3520

Ph: (02) 9233 3520