This fashion shoot was in collaboration with Michael Spiers jewellers…
For over 35 years born and bred Devonian, Jethro Marles, has been advising clients about their jewellery, precious items and works of art.
Tell me where it all began…
“I was born in Torquay, and at 11 I started downhill skiing at the local dry slope. I became England’s youngest qualified skiing instructor aged 17 and taught in the French Alps for a brief time.”
That’s quite a career jump from what you do now, how did you begin valuing works of art?
“I met Jennie, my wife, while at the slopes, and it was her father who asked if I could help at a charity auction in 1976. A year later I joined Sotheby Bearne as a saleroom assistant and soon developed a keen interest in jewellery. Working with some of the leading experts of their day, I found myself assisting with auctions all over the UK and abroad.”
Is that where you learned the art of making jewellery?
“I was inspired to try jewellery making as a hobby after intently listening to a world renowned watch maker, George Daniels. Gaining the skills required to create items from scratch also gave me a greater insight when identifying and assessing items. Today, I want my clients to be fully informed about the items in their possession, so whether its a single item with £50 or a large collection worth many thousands, I’m dedicated to making sure items are valued correctly.”
Spotting swans out of his window, Jethro talks fondly of his home.
“Today it’s a sanctuary for wildlife, but it took a lot of work to get it where it is now. What was a 12 acre site filled with pigs is now covered with wildflower meadows and ponds. I have a vegetable plot, keep bees for honey, chickens for meat and eggs and trout in a pond. I hope we’ll become self sufficient in the future, but already have other projects in mind so others can enjoy the surroundings we’ve created.”
Sounds like a photographer’s paradise, are you interested in photography?
“I love taking pictures of wildlife with my Nikon and my smart phone, but good images for business are essential these days, especially the sort of items I deal with. High resolution close-up images and videos help give our customers a good impression of the items while viewing online, but they will nearly always want to see the item in the flesh before making a commitment to buy.”
What else do you enjoy?
“I love good food – eating it and cooking it! I began cooking for the family when my wife was training to be a nurse and whilst I enjoy making food for people today, it’s a real treat for me to get out of the kitchen and go to a restaurant.”
One final question. What is your favourite aspect of your job?
“I enjoy making engagement and eternity rings. I get to know the couple at the design stage over cups of tea and coffee and can create an item they really appreciate – it’s a very satisfying feeling.”
Obtaining independent advice from Jethro Marles is only available by contacting his office directly on 01803 813781 or 01392 848525 or by visiting his website www.jethromarles.co.uk