Being a British purveyor of fine gifts affords Halcyon Days a privilege. “We like to think we are a part of English life. We’re a little bit eccentric, a little bit cheeky on occasion, and that comes through in our products. Hopefully, our new friends in Malaysia will see and experience some of that,” says chairman and CEO Pamela Harper.
The 69-year-old company synonymous with handcrafted enamelware has set up its first franchise store in the world in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and she was visiting for the official opening on Aug 20.
“English elegance … I think there is that in our society. Our founder, Susan Benjamin, was a very elegant lady, an antique dealer who dealt with original enamel boxes. She fell in love with them and decided there was a real market for her to recreate the pillboxes from a former era. That was how the brand came to be born,” says Harper.
With refinement the hallmark of Halcyon Days — the term refers to a tranquil period of happiness and success — Benjamin envisioned an English drawing room brand where one could find a round set on the table, a bouquet in place and an enamel box at the side. “I think we embody that spirit as we go forward — a brand that sits effortlessly, whether it’s in your home or on your person, worn as a piece of silk,” she adds.
The company was established as an antiques emporium in Mayfair, London, in 1950, selling porcelain and silver items, jewellery and clocks. It began producing enamel gift boxes in the late 1960s and attracted keen attention when the Queen Mother “took delivery of a box decorated with a picture of Clarence House [her London home] in 1970”, The Telegraph wrote.
Besides signature enamel boxes and English fine bone china fashioned the time-honoured way by proud artisans, Halcyon Days also offers bangles made from enamel and finished in 18-carat gold, rose gold or palladium, complemented by brooches, necklaces and pendants, as well as scarves, watches and cufflinks, all made in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, the UK, where its two factories are based.
Its reputation for quality products and exquisite craftsmanship has garnered loyal customers from far and wide. The company is one of only 14 in the world to hold three royal warrants, awarded by Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles. A royal warrant is recognition for those who have supplied goods and services to any of the three households for at least five years and have an ongoing trading arrangement.
For the full story, pick up a copy of The Edge Malaysia (Sept 9, 2019) at your nearest news stand. Save by subscribing to us for your print and/or digital copy.