Inside London’s Secret Silver Vaults: STORE CRAZY

Inside London’s Secret Silver Vaults: STORE CRAZY


JOHN WALTER: It’s quite an amazing experience, coming down for the first time, because there
is nothing like it in the world actually. COMM: If you’re looking to pick up some dazzling antiques, look no further than The
London Silver Vaults, tucked away in an unassuming road in central London. JOHN WALTER: We’re William Walter Antiques and we have an individual shop within a complex
of shops down here. There’s probably 30 shops, all selling silver. So you can buy
everything from this spoon from the 16th century to a 1930s silver plating machine gun or a
horse’s hoof inkwell. Before the days of television, people got a little bit of cabin
fever, so they tried to work out what were they going to do with their money next. There
was noting that really wasn’t made in silver. JOHN WALTER: Well, this is fairly unusual. It’s an 1805 cucumber slicer and there is
the hallmark. It’s made by a famous maker called Thomas Phipps and Edward Robinson,
more common one’s actually ivory and steel. This is the luxury deluxe version made of
silver, and it’s still plenty sharp. COMM: John Walter is the current proprietor of William Walter Antiques, a third generation
silver dealer who first opened their doors back in 1940 to keep London silver horde safe
against the Nazi’s bombs. JOHN WALTER: My grandfather first came down here in 1940 and he used it as storage and
then from then on it, it just grew into an antique center. And then he died in 1970 and
then my father came down, now it’s mine. JOHN WALTER: Effectively, we’re a safe deposit within a safe deposit. We have thousands of
pieces – from things from a few pounds to my most expensive item, nearly a million. COMM: Anyone wishing to enter into these vaults will have to pass through their vigilance
safety measures. JOHN WALTER: This is in the Top 5 most secure buildings in the world. It think it’s number
four according to my list, behind Fort Knox, The Bank of England and I think there is another
one in America, and then this place. So, it’s pretty impenetrable really. JOHN WALTER: Here we go.
Have a good look how thick that is. JOHN WALTER: You get a huge mixture of customers. Yeah, we have had lots of famous customers
over the years. A lot of people from the Dallas cast, few prime ministers, Joanna Lumley,
some I haven’t recognised. JOHN WALTER: Well, I mean they’re pretty amazed actually when they come down. Of course,
I’m effectively a bit institutionalised, you know, having being down here all my life,
I treat it as normal. But when people come down, they sort of go, ‘Oh, wow!’ There
is nothing like it in the world actually.

27 Comments

  1. Hello Mr. John. I m an artist silver utensils all type manufacturing. +919928274093 is my contact number. I m from india

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