The great Birmingham firm of Elkingtons, was largely the creation of George Richards Elkington (1800-1865), who worked from 1824 in Birmingham as a manufacturer of silver-mounted scent bottles. By 1829 the business had expanded sufficiently for a branch to have been established in London. In the late 1830’s the Elkingtons began making experiments to apply the principles of electro-metallurgy to gilding and plating with silver and in 1840 the patent was at last taken out. Elkingtons owed their rise to a position amongst the most important silversmiths of the country to their exploitation of this new process and the two of the most famous designers then emloyed, both of them French, Albert Wilms (1827-1899) and Morel-Ladeuil (1820-1888), who helped to make Elkingtons’ reputation with their elaborate exhibition pieces.