The History of 83 Marchmont Street

In 1790 the Foundling Estate decided to build on its land.
Numbers 83-85 were originally built in 1807 by James Burton on land leased by the Skinners Estate.
In 1815/16 Percy and Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) lived in digs just a few doors away, prior to visiting Byron in Geneva.
The main building that 83 is a part of was completed in 1894 but from 1894 to 1904 numbers 83-89 suffered planning blight caused by a fire.
In 1904 the main building was changed from two stories to three, and work began on two matching shops below, a large double shop at 85 and a half size unit at 83. Both shops show typical Edwardian Styling. They both have very high arched windows with the glass set into ornate twisted wrought iron columns. the arch theme is repeated in the door.
These shops are almost original in their outer appearance and a very rare sight in England today. 83 opened as a tobacconist in 1910 leased by Miss Elsie Chiplin, it continued as such until 1953 under three changes of ownership.
In 1953 Arthur Provisor a Russian immigrant changed the shop to a watch repairers and worked as such till his retirement when the lease passed to John King in 1980 who ran it as a retail jeweller specialising in selling restored quality watches.
In the seventies it was used as an external location shot for the TV series MINDER starring Dennis Waterman and George Cole.
The lease then passed to Chris Kraskowski who sold antique Art Deco Jewellery until 1986, when he moved to another location.
The lease was purchased by Clive Gilbert who is still currently running the shop as a retail jewellers and manufacturer.
Mr Gilbert entered the jewellery trade at 16 working full time and attending Sir John Cass Art College in his free time to learn about Jewellery making, Gemology, Stone setting, Jewellery design, Hand engraving and Casting.
During his time there he won 2 prizes for design awarded by Goldsmith Hall and the Design Council.
Having trained as a craftsman in his twenties he became shop manager for several retail jewellers before achieving his ambition to be a shop owner before he reached the age of 30.
Mr Gilbert has served in the capacity of treasurer of the Marchmont Street Association since its foundation in 2005.