Saqui & Lawrence, Jewellers

The exact relationship between H. Samuel and Saqui & Lawrence has piqued a lot of interest. This is an attempt to clear things up – please comment if you have more information or images of Saqui & Lawrence shops that I could add to this post!

The London jeweller, Saqui & Lawrence, was acquired by H. Samuel in 1908.

The founders, Saqui and Lawrence — first cousins — were both closely related to the founder of H. Samuel, Mrs Harriet Samuel. She was their aunt.

Three sisters – Harriet, Rachel and Emma Wolf – married three brothers, Walter, Henry and Alfred Samuel, in Liverpool in the mid-19th century. A fourth sister, Sarah, married the watchmaker and jeweller John Jacob Saqui. Their eldest child was Abraham Horatio Saqui (1860-1922).

All four families lived and worked in Liverpool as jewellers and watch dealers, but after Walter’s death Harriet moved to Manchester, where she started a new business, H. Samuel, around 1875. By the 1890s this was in the hands of Harriet’s son Edgar, who must be credited with developing Britain’s best-known chain of jewellery shops.

Meanwhile, Saqui & Lawrence had been established around 1884 by Abraham Horatio Saqui and his cousin, Samuel Lawrence (born Lawrence Samuel but also known as Lawrence Lawrence, 1858-1941), the son of Emma and Alfred Samuel. Saqui & Lawrence developed a chain before H. Samuel, with shops in Borough High Street, Liverpool Street and Fleet Street in 1885. Their chain grew more slowly than H. Samuel’s, however, having just six shops by 1908.

Saqui & Lawrence suffered a string of damaging burglaries, widely reported in the press. Furthermore, in 1907-08 Lawrence became embroiled in a scandalous divorce when his young wife took up with his nephew. This may have triggered the dissolution of the partnership and the sale of the business to H. Samuel.

Once acquired by H. Samuel, Edgar took charge of Saqui & Lawrence shops which continued to multiply and traded into the 1980s.

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29 Responses to Saqui & Lawrence, Jewellers

  1. Cedra S says:

    This is fantastic! Many thanks for this snapshot of the Saqui family history.


  2. Eve Richardson says:

    Thanks very much for this. I’m particularly happy to know where ‘Lawrence’ came from as that name (or variation) was often adopted by members of my Lazarus family; now I know that there is no connection this way. Who knows what other links I’ll find though – so many Jewish families were in the jewelry business and intermarried in the 1800s and early 1900s.


  3. Michael Heppner says:

    In case you have not come across this, there is photo from August 1912 of the shop “Saqui and Lawrence” (no Lawrence) at 282 Bishopsgate, London by Philip Davies : Atlantic Publishing. Does this suggest that in 1912 Saqui was in business without Lawrence, or is there another reason why the Lawrence name is missing ? They described themselves as Lever Watchmakers and also offered “Lucky Wedding Rings


  4. Michael Heppner says:

    Correction : the shop sign at 282 Bishopsgate is “Saqui and Company” (no Lawrence) !!!


  5. Nixon Tod says: check out the Saqui and Lawrence store is in this pic of Manchester Piccadilly 1964. Also Henry Wolf, Engagement Rings a few doors along.


  6. Paula Catherine Carr says:

    The shop Saqui & Lawrence appeared in A Symphony of London on talking pictures channel.


  7. MEvans says:

    This is a really fascinating thread. I think I have inherited a piece of jewellery that was made by, or at least sold from, one of the London Saqui & Company shops. It’s a brooch that I think is supposed to be Halley’s comet that appeared in 1910. Is there any record of their pieces that I could check against? It would be lovely to find out exactly where the brooch came from


  8. Jon Parker says:

    I have a little alarm clock made by American clock company Ansonia. It has Saqui and Lawrence London printed in the dial . It has seen better days but is complete and ticking.
    Could send a photo if you’re interested.
    Best wishes


  9. Gwen Lees says:

    I worked in the City of London from 1956 to 1971 and most days walked from Liverpool St Station to Bank Station passing through the Liverpool St Arcade. The first shop on the right was Saqui and Lawrence, I often stopped to look in the windows at the displays. Christmas 1970 the shop was closed for the Christmas holidays, after the holiday I went into the shop and together with, my now husband, an engagement ring was purchased. The ring was placed on my finger under the Christmas tree in the banking hall where I worked as I returned from my lunch hour. My husband was working south of the river at that time Some years later on a visit to London I was surprised and saddened to find Saqui and Lawrence and the Arcade were no longer there. Now, thanks to this site, I understand why, but I still feel sad. I find this site very interesting. the information and the comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tony Polischuk says:

    There is a cool Saqui and Lawrence electric sign in this photo of Piccadilly Circus 1962

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jane Saqui says:

    Just come across this information whilst looking for any Jewellery or watches for sale with the name Saqui & Lawrence. I am married to Abraham Horatio Saqui’s grandson & we have often pondered why the business ended. Another bit of the jigsaw of the family history. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  12. sue emms says:

    I have a small jewellery box, Saqui & Lawrence 28, 29, 30 & 31 Liverpool Street. Happy to post to any interested parties, for free ( if my postage is covered)


  13. mr clive woodman says:

    i worked for h Samuel in Piccadilly Circus on the corner of Sherwood street and Glasshouse street as a manager in 1983 and as a assistant manager in 1982 .It was a great job every few days i would have Edgar Samuel Visit my shop each morning and point out if a watch had stopped he would stop and make sure i replaced the battery in the watch and it was working before he left the property. I used to travel up from Romford to Piccadilly Circus every day some times going through the arcade at Liverpool street station and walk through the arcade where Saqui and Lawerance Was I was went in there and purchased two Royal Douton Figures
    An assistant manager who i knew broke into Saqui and Lawerence Liverpool street came through the roof and stole a lot of Jewellery ended up in prison.They were the days


    • mr clive woodman says:

      H Samuel took over Saqui and lawerence jewellers when Gerald Ratner came along before he made a wrong statement about a prawn sandwich and many of the chain of shops closed for good.


      • B Byatt says:

        Hello Clive… l remember you. I recall you came to Piccadilly when VU was Manager and AS was the AM.. l was a trainee at the time and ended up managing S&L in Portsmouth. HS owned S&L way back from the early 70’s. Didn’t you also work on Cheapside?


    • Will Walker says:

      I came across this clip and randomly investigated a shop fron before going down a rabbit hole ending in your picadilly comment on a blog.

      Thought I’d close the loop by sending you the clip.


  14. Lynn says:

    I have an engagement ring in original box with Saqui and Lawrence ltd,court jewellers,Liverpool Street etc on it, I think from early 1930s, it was my grandmothers, my mum was born in 1938, I’m just trying to find out information about it


  15. Lindsay Mccombe says:

    Look at this Twitter post of a film taken in 1930 that shows the shop

    Liked by 1 person

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