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Features > Lifestyle > Artisans > Smythsons, Chief Gold Stamper
AC145: Smythsons, Chief Gold Stamper
John Timms has been pressing letters into leather for 45 years – first with his father’s company, Ben Timms Dyer Stampers, and later, after his father retired, as head of the business. When his wife Penelope died in 2007, he planned to retire – "I lost interest," he says.

But six months later, he was contacted by Bond Street stationer Smythson, offering him a job as its gold stamper. "After months of twiddling my fingers, I’d got a bit bored, and then the offer came to me, quite unexpectedly. I had a quick interview – and the rest is history,’ says Timms, who is now the company’s chief stamper.

Gold stamping is a skill that Timms, now 68, learnt in his 20s during a course at the London School of Printing. "Back in the day it wasn’t very popular," he recalls.
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