Thomas Lyte is a modern English luxury brand and proud Royal Warrant Holder to Her Majesty the Queen. Specialising in exquisite leather accessories and silverware.
We also create beautiful bespoke objet d’art and provide a gifting service for business. Founded in 2007, the brand seeks to emulate the English spirit, embracing a modern aesthetic in an effortlessly understated way. Our designers and Master Craftsman ensure traditional techniques not only survive, but are reworked, creating exciting, elegant and inspiring products
BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT: THOMAS LYTE GRANTED A ROYAL WARRANT AS GOLDSMITH AND SILVERSMITH TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
On the 15th January 2015; London, England, Her Majesty the Queen has granted a Royal Warrant to Thomas Lyte as Goldsmith and Silversmith.
The Warrant took effect from 1st January 2015 and is granted for a five year period to Master Silversmith Kevin Williams Esq. The appointment recognises that Thomas Lyte has been a direct supplier and restorer of silverware to the Royal Household since 2010.
Thomas Lyte are world renowned Goldsmiths and Silversmiths with recognition for designing, making and restoring silver and gold decor for Royal Households, Military and Private residences. They are also known in the world of sport for making many of the globes iconic pieces of silverware. They not only made the 2014 FA Cup, they are also the official Goldsmiths behind all restoration of this year’s 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Kevin Baker, CEO and Founder, Thomas Lyte, said “It is with great honour that we accept this Royal Warrant. It is an exceptionally prestigious stamp of quality and recognition for our London based Goldsmiths and Silversmiths.”
Thomas Lyte has strong affiliations with the sporting world.
In 2013, The British Olympic Association entered into a licensing partnership with the company and launched a Thomas Lyte gift range. Moreover, the company has been the official designer and maker of the BT Sport Industry Awards since the mid-2000s .
The expertise of Thomas Lyte’s designers and master-craft teams has positioned the company as one of the world’s leading designers, makers and restorers of trophies and medals.
These include football’s FA Cup, golf’s Ryder Cup and rugby’s RBS 6 Nations and Webb Ellis Rugby World Cup. Fruther works can be seen in the Trophies and Awards section.
History and Heritage
The Thomas Lyte brand is deeply rooted in English history and heritage.
The company is named after the Lyte Jewell, one of the finest examples of English craftsmanship, which combined extraordinary skills in enamelling, goldsmithing, diamond cutting, jewel setting and the work of renowned miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard.
Thomas Lyte was a courtier and genealogist who presented King James I with a lineage tracing his ancestry, helping to secure his position on the English throne. The King commissioned this unique piece as a reward.
The company was founded by Kevin Baker in 1995. It changed its name from Phoenix Luxury to Thomas Lyte in 2007 as a symbol of the rebirth of contemporary English luxury and craftsmanship.
The Thomas Lyte Foundation
Founded on ethical principles, Thomas Lyte donates a percentage of its profits to The Thomas Lyte Foundation, a registered charity.
Keeping the art of craftsmanship alive is a central part of the company’s philosophy.
“It’s not about the desire to build the largest company as fast as possible, but we really live by our values. It’s about ensuring that the great things about luxury are there for tomorrow…It’s values first,” said Mr Baker.
The Thomas Lyte Foundation’s aim is to provide support for emerging English artists, designers and craftspeople, to ensure the survival of endangered skills that are essential to the English luxury industry.
The Thomas Lyte Modern Heritage Award
As part of the company’s support for great craftswork, Thomas Lyte created The Thomas Lyte Modern Heritage Award in conjunction with the British Craft Council. The Award ran in 2008/2009 and was to recognise graduates and newly qualified graduates with both a bursary and support to commercialise their winning designs.
Nine winners were shortlisted and three winners were announced by Kevin Baker, chief executive, Thomas Lyte, at Origin: The London Craft Fair at Somerset House on the 6 October 2008.
In 2010, Thomas Lyte opened its flagship store at 12-13 Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, London.
Arranged over three floors, it was described at the time as a “temple of luxury paying homage to English craftsmanship in leather and silver, at its finest” by Blood, Sweat & Fashion magazine.
The ground floor was devoted to ladies wear, showcasing a collection of bags, modern leather accessories and lifestyle pieces.
Descending to the lower ground floor, one entered a matt black club room; the men’s suite.
Amongst leather tote bags and other leather goods, the club room also presented sporting silver trophies from the Thomas Lyte silver workshops.
The store’s first floor was reserved for private clients, accessible by appointment only.
The store’s interior was based on a concept of heritage with a modern twist, which reflects the strong Arts and Crafts values of Thomas Lyte.
Navigated by dramatic floral streams, which were extracted from the old Thomas Lyte logo, the space was filled with subtle but quirky details to discover, like its deep buttoned leather window beds with silver stalks, holding classic silver salvers which acted as display trays.
Since closing the store in December 2014, Thomas Lyte products are available in the London retailer Fortnum & Mason and online.
Silver craft is a distinguished element of the Thomas Lyte brand with craftsmen advanced in gold and silver polishing, plating, restoring, designing and making.
The company’s contemporary collection of silver accessories and bespoke commissions are crafted in its London-based Silver Workshop, one of the largest in Britain.
The workshop was acquired by Thomas Lyte in December 2007 and is presided over by Master Silversmith Kevin Williams, a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company.
Silversmithing is unfortunately a dying trade in the UK, according to Kevin Baker, chief executive, Thomas Lyte.
“There used to be 4,000 silversmiths in the early 1980s and now there’s perhaps 200. Many of them are actually in their late 40s, early 50s,” Mr Baker said in a 2013 interview with BBC Radio 4.
“Britain still has the finest silversmiths [and] no it’s not replaceable in terms of the latest 3D [printing] technology, although we are using very advanced technology. Silversmithing is about hand craft skills and good judgement, it’s about art and craft,” he told the programme.
Mr Baker outlined the core of his strategy in an interview with The Telegraph in 2010, saying that when it comes to luxury items, “you should know who designed it, who made it and what it's made of. Scarcity and rarity are important”.
Thomas Lyte owns their own leather workshop in London.
Craftspeople working in Thomas Lyte’s leather atelier create handmade accessories, penned at Thomas Lyte’s design centre in Fulham, using fine calf hide and intricate techniques.
Thomas Lyte’s leather products range from wallets and purses to bags and travel goods “with a leaning towards the slightly funkier, irreverent end of the design spectrum”, according to the Permanent Style article.
Thomas Lyte’s designers were inspired by the curve of the tail of the Spitfire plane, the article said, pointing out that the company’s “leather products are always fully lined, with silk.’’
Thomas Lyte was shortlisted for the Made in Britain award at the Growing Business Awards 2011.
Thomas Lyte was the winner of the 2014 Luxury Lifestyle Awards.