Asprey International Limited Asprey & Garrard Limited, is a United Kingdom-based designer and retailer of jewellery, home goods, leather goods, timepieces and a retailer of books. Asprey's flagship retail store is located on New Bond Street in United Kingdom. Asprey has supplied crowns and sceptres for royal families around the world and, as of 2013, held a Royal Warrant from the Prince of Wales. From 1996 to 1998, Asprey held a partnership with Ferrari's Formula 1 team. Asprey was established in England in Mitcham, Surrey, in 1781. Founded as a silk printing business by William Asprey, it soon became a luxury emporium. In 1841, William Asprey's elder son Charles went into partnership with a stationer located on London's Bond Street. In 1847, the family broke with this partner and moved into 167 New Bond Street, the premises Asprey occupies today. From its central London location, Asprey advertised'articles of exclusive design and high quality, whether for personal adornment or personal accompaniment and to endow with richness and beauty the table and homes of people of refinement and discernment.'
An early speciality was dressing cases. Asprey crafted traditional cases and designs in leather, suitable for the new style of travel ushered in by railways; the main competitors at the time were H. J. Cave & Sons. Asprey was recognised for its expertise when it won a gold medal for its dressing cases at the International Exhibition of 1862, but it lost out to its rivals, H. J. Cave & Sons, in 1867; the company consolidated its position through acquisitions. In 1859, Asprey absorbed a maker of dressing cases and holder of a Royal Warrant; the company purchased the Alfred Club at 22 Albemarle Street, which backed on to the New Bond Street store and meant that Asprey now had entrances on two of London's most fashionable streets. As the business grew, the company acquired manufacturing facilities and hired silversmiths, goldsmiths and watchmakers including Ernest Betjeman, the father of the distinguished poet John Betjeman, one of the most regarded craftsman and designers of his day. In the 1920s, commissions poured in from around the world, from American millionaire J. Pierpont Morgan to potentates such as the Maharaja of Patiala, who commissioned a huge teak travelling trunk for each of his wives, in which each trunk was fitted with solid silver washing and bathing utensils with waterspouts of ornate tiger head and lined with blue velvet.
Asprey cigarette cases became collectable amongst young sophisticates who delighted in its other modern products, including travel clocks, safety razors and automatic pencil sharpeners. 1781 Asprey begins trading as William Asprey in Mitcham, Surrey 1847 Asprey flagship store opens on New Bond Street, London 1851 Asprey receives an'Honourable Mention' at the Great Exhibition for their lady's dressing case with'Annie' cipher. 1862 First Royal Warrant granted by Queen Victoria 1889 Edward VII grants the second Royal Warrant to Asprey 1925 HM Queen Mary commissions a necklace given to HRH Princess Margaret on the occasion of her 18th birthday 1930 Maharaja of Patiala commissions five trunks, one for each of his five wives 1973 Bespoke chess set is commissioned for Ringo Starr's birthday 1975 Asprey received the Queen's Award to Industry by Queen Elizabeth 1990 Asprey and Garrard merge 2002 Asprey and Garrard split 2004 Lord Foster of Thames Bank redesigns the flagship store in New Bond Street, London 2006 Asprey celebrates its 225th anniversary and is granted a coat of arms by the English College of Arms 2006 Sciens Capital Management and Plainfield Asset Management purchase the brand 2009 Asprey becomes the official jewellery sponsor of The Orange British Academy Film Awards 2012 Katie Hillier creates new autumn/winter collection 2012 Asprey collaborates with light artist Chris Levine to create The Diamond Queen for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee 2012 May – New York based Luxury Institute ranks Asprey in the top two luxury brands for 2012 2014 Bovet 1822 join Asprey's Timepiece portfolio 2015 Asprey becomes an official retailer of Rolex Watches, London 2016 Asprey becomes the official Jewellery sponsor of The Olivier Awards 2017 Opening of Asprey at Takashimaya Osaka and Sunmotoyama Ginza, Japan 2017 Celebration of the twenty year anniversary of the Asprey Boutique, Beverly Hills Hotel 2018 Asprey launches the Beverly Hills Collection Asprey has a tradition of producing jewellery inspired by the blooms found in English gardens and Woodland Flora.
Over the decades jewelled interpretations of flowers have evolved to include Daisy and sunflower collections. The master diamond cutter; the cushion cut gave Tolkowsky options for incorporating the Asprey "A" inscription around the edges of the stone. The result was the 61-facet Asprey cut. Carat weights of Asprey-cut diamonds range from 0.50 to 3. Asprey-cut diamonds are inscribed on one side of the cushion with the GIA certificate number and with four distinctive'A's on the other, it is the only diamond that has the letter "A" on the crown. The shape of the Asprey cut means that the cutting process can be done only by hand, unlike many other stones that involve machine cutting; the latest handbag collection is the Beverly Hills collection, inspired by the 20th anniversary of the Boutique at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles The men's collection includes wallets and travel watch cases. Other items include briefcases and backgammon boards. Asprey offers classic and contemporary silver pieces – such as the saltcellar fashioned to look like a cement mixer or the wheel barrow salt holder with accompanying shovel spoon.
Asprey produce c
Don Arden was an English music manager and businessman. He managed the careers of rock acts such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Air Supply, Small Faces, The Move, Black Sabbath and Electric Light Orchestra, he gained a reputation in Britain for his aggressive, sometimes illegal business tactics. He was married to Hope Shaw, a former ballet dancer/teacher, who died in 1999, he was the father of Sharon Osbourne. Arden's success story turned sour when his violent'negotiating' methods and questionable accounting caught up with him, he became estranged from members of his own family. Born into a Jewish family in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. Arden began his showbusiness career when he was just 13 years old as a singer and stand-up comic after attending the Royal College of Music and in 1944 changed his name from Harry Levy to Don Arden. After being demobilised from the British Army at the end of World War II, Arden returned to civil life to develop his show business career from 1946 to 1953. Arden worked as an entertainer on the British variety circuit.
He impersonated singers such as Enrico Caruso and film actors known for gangster roles such as Edward G. Robinson and George Raft. On weekends, Yiddish-speaking Arden impressed Jewish audiences with his Al Jolson routine. One of his record releases was his version of "Blue Suede Shoes" on the Embassy label when tried to impersonate Elvis. In 1954 went on to become a showbiz agent after realising it would be more profitable, he began his career organising Hebrew folk song contests started putting together his own shows. Arden launched his career as a manager. Taking over from John Schatt, Arden became Vincent's manager. Arden could not control Vincent's compulsive alcoholism; the relationship ended when Vincent pulled a knife on his manager. For a short period of time in the early 1960s, he worked with the British singer Elkie Brooks at the start of her career. During 1964, Arden moved into beat group pop management with the Nashville Teens who secured chart hits with "Tobacco Road" and "Google Eye" and "Find My Way Back Home".
According to Johnny Rogan's book Starmakers & Svengalis, their earnings from these hits was £3,513. When group member John Hawken confronted Arden about some confusion over monies to be collected, his manager told him, "I have the strength of 10 men in these hands" and threatened to throw him from an office window. In 1965, Arden met aspiring rock band Small Faces in his office in Carnaby Street. Half an hour he had signed them up. Don Arden was struck by the potential of Small Faces: "I thought at that time, on the first hearing, I thought it was the best band in the world." Kenney Jones, Small Faces' drummer, recalls: "He was kind of a Jewish teddy bear. You liked him because he was enthusiastic and he talked about what he could do and what he couldn't do and whenever he said –'I'll do this, I'll do that' – he did and it came true." The band's debut single - "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" - was ushered into the hit parade by "chart-fixing", which cost Arden £12,000. Arden denied it was cheating: "I had a saying, you can't polish a turd.
In other words, if the record's no good to begin with it still won't be any good after you've wasted your time and money getting it played." In 1966, Arden and a squad of'minders' turned up at impresario Robert Stigwood's office to'teach him a lesson' for daring to discuss a change of management with Small Faces. This became one of the most notorious incidents from the 1960s British pop business. Arden threatened to throw Stigwood out of the window if he interfered with his business again; the band was never convinced that Arden had paid them everything he owed them. Kenney Jones has mixed memories of the band's stormy relationship with Arden: Without Don, the Small Faces may not have existed, without his sort of vision at that time, be it short-lived or what; the fact is we became known and we got a break through Don. So if you think of it like that and I think all of us are prepared to swallow what went on, leave it, fine, it's history. We all learned from each other, he gave us our first break, fair enough, you know, leave it.
I've got good and bad memories but I think of Don with affection enough. Arden tried to rekindle his former glories as a family entertainer by releasing a single of his own in 1967: "Sunrise Sunset", from the musical Fiddler on the Roof, but it failed to chart. Arden returned to music management in 1968, he struck gold when two groups formed by ex-Move members, ELO and Wizzard, started having international hits such as "See My Baby Jive" and "Angel Fingers" and ELO with "10538 Overture" and "Roll Over Beethoven". With albums like Out of the Blue and Discovery, ELO became a prominent act. Arden took over management of singer-songwriter Lynsey de Paul in 1973 who provided him in the following year with the first hit on his new Jet label, "No Honestly", the theme tune to a hit ITV comedy No, Honestly. By 1976, Arden was embroiled in a lawsuit with the distraught singer over what she claimed was late payment of money owed to her. De Paul commented: It was a time in my life that I'll never forget and I'll never forgive him.
And if anybody was near suicide, if I was near, it was because it was awful. She reached a settlement with Arden in 1978, he brought his son David and daughter Sharon Osbourne into the business, intending to build an Arden showbiz dynasty. In 1979, one of Ar
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral, a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminium, with the chemical formula CuAl648·4H2O. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gemstone and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue. In recent times, turquoise has been devalued, like most other opaque gems, by the introduction onto the market of treatments and synthetics; the gemstone has been known by many names. Pliny the Elder referred to the mineral as callais and the Aztecs knew it as chalchihuitl; the word turquoise dates to the 17th century and is derived from the French turquois meaning "Turkish" because the mineral was first brought to Europe through Turkey, from mines in the historical Khorasan Province of Persia. The finest of turquoise reaches a maximum Mohs hardness of just under 6, or more than window glass. Characteristically a cryptocrystalline mineral, turquoise never forms single crystals, all of its properties are variable. X-ray diffraction testing shows its crystal system to be triclinic.
With lower hardness comes lower specific gravity and greater porosity. The lustre of turquoise is waxy to subvitreous, its transparency is opaque, but may be semitranslucent in thin sections. Colour is as variable as the mineral's other properties, ranging from white to a powder blue to a sky blue, from a blue-green to a yellowish green; the blue is attributed to idiochromatic copper while the green may be the result of either iron impurities or dehydration. The refractive index of turquoise is 1.61 or 1.62. A reading of 1.61–1.65 has been taken from rare single crystals. An absorption spectrum may be obtained with a hand-held spectroscope, revealing a line at 432 nm and a weak band at 460 nm. Under longwave ultraviolet light, turquoise may fluoresce green, yellow or bright blue. Turquoise is insoluble in all but heated hydrochloric acid, its streak is a pale bluish white and its fracture is conchoidal, leaving a waxy lustre. Despite its low hardness relative to other gems, turquoise takes a good polish.
Turquoise may be peppered with flecks of pyrite or interspersed with dark, spidery limonite veining. As a secondary mineral, turquoise forms by the action of percolating acidic aqueous solutions during the weathering and oxidation of pre-existing minerals. For example, the copper may come from primary copper sulfides such as chalcopyrite or from the secondary carbonates malachite or azurite. Climate factors appear to play an important role as turquoise is found in arid regions, filling or encrusting cavities and fractures in highly altered volcanic rocks with associated limonite and other iron oxides. In the Southwestern United States turquoise is invariably associated with the weathering products of copper sulfide deposits in or around potassium-feldspar-bearing porphyritic intrusives. In some occurrences alunite, potassium aluminium sulfate, is a prominent secondary mineral. Turquoise mineralization is restricted to a shallow depth of less than 20 metres, although it does occur along deeper fracture zones where secondary solutions have greater penetration or the depth to the water table is greater.
Turquoise assumes no definite external shape. Crystals at the microscopic scale, are exceedingly rare; the form is vein or fracture filling, nodular, or botryoidal in habit. Stalactite forms have been reported. Turquoise may pseudomorphously replace feldspar, other minerals, or fossils. Odontolite is fossil bone or ivory, traditionally thought to have been altered by turquoise or similar phosphate minerals such as the iron phosphate vivianite. Intergrowth with other secondary copper minerals such as chrysocolla is common. Turquoise was among the first gems to be mined, many historic sites have been depleted, though some are still worked to this day; these are all small-scale operations seasonal owing to the limited scope and remoteness of the deposits. Most are worked by hand with no mechanization. However, turquoise is recovered as a byproduct of large-scale copper mining operations in the United States. Iran has been an important source of turquoise for at least 2,000 years, it was named by Iranians "pērōzah" meaning "victory", the Arabs called it "fayrūzah", pronounced in Modern Persian as "fīrūzeh".
In Iranian architecture, the blue turquoise was used to cover the domes of palaces because its intense blue colour was a symbol of heaven on earth. This deposit is blue and turns green when heated due to dehydration, it is restricted to a mine-riddled region in Nishapur, the 2,012 m mountain peak of Ali-mersai near Mashhad, the capital of Khorasan Province, Iran. A weathered and broken trachyte is host to the turquoise, found both in situ between layers of limonite and sandstone and amongst the scree at the mountain's base; these workings are the oldest known, together with those of the Sinai Peninsula. Iran has turquoise mines in Semnan and Kerman provinces. Since at least the First Dynasty in ancient Egypt, before turquoise was us
Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art
The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art is a owned contemporary art gallery in Oslo in Norway. It was founded and opened to the public in 1993; the collection's main focus is the American appropriation artists from the 1980s, but it is developing towards the international contemporary art scene, with artists like Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney, Tom Sachs, Doug Aitken, Olafur Eliasson and Cai Guo-Qiang. The museum gives 6-7 temporary exhibitions each year. Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art collaborates with international institutions, produces exhibitions that travels worldwide. In 2012 the museum moved to two new buildings designed by Renzo Piano on Tjuvholmen; the museum opened in 1993, was funded by two philanthropic foundations established by descendants of the Fearnley shipping family, the Thomas Fearnley Foundation and the Heddy and Nils Astrup Foundation. The two foundations merged in 1995 to become the Thomas Fearnley and Nils Astrup Foundation; the Thomas Fearnley Foundation was established by shipping magnate Thomas Fearnley in 1939.
The Heddy and Nils Astrup Foundation was named for Nils Ebbessøn Astrup, a maternal grandson of Thomas Fearnley. The museum created a stir in the international art world in 2002 when it purchased the American artist Jeff Koons's monumental sculpture in gilt porcelain of the pop star Michael Jackson with Bubbles, his favorite chimpanzee, for US$5.1 million. The permanent collection consists of works of International Contemporary Art; the museum collection was based on a private collection that goes back thirty years, has developed with the many changes in modern/contemporary art. There has been an interest in German Abstract Expressionism, English modern painting, the Young British Artists. Presently the collection is orientated towards the young American art scene, it encompasses works pertaining to the increasing global art community. The main areas of curatorial expertise in the museum are art from the 1960s to the present, including American and European pop-art, post-modern appropriation art of the 1980s and international contemporary art.
Much needed additional space will be provided by 2012 when the museum moves into two new buildings designed by Renzo Piano. The collection includes works by artists such as. "Europe, Europe" -- 2014 2012To Be With Art Is All. Highlights from the permanent collection. 2011VideoSpace. Surrounding Bacon & Warhol. Dan Colen-Peanuts. 2010Ernesto Neto - Intimacy. Gardar Eide Einarsson - Power has a Fragrance. Bjarne Melgaard - Jealous. 2009Rotating Views #2- Astrup Fearnley Collection. Nate Lowman - The Natriot Act. Indian Highway. Rotating Views #1- Astrup Fearnley Collection. 2008Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol. Meet me around the corner. Huang Yong Ping - Ping Pong. LIGHTS ON – Norwegian Contemporary Art. 2007China Power Station: Part II. Ann Lislegaard - Science Fiction and other worlds. Richard Prince - Canaries in the Coal Mine. 2006Charles Ray - Black & White. MORE THAN THE WORLD - Astrup Fearnley Collection. Knut Åsdam - Retrospective. Not all is visible - Astrup Fearnley Collection. Tom Sachs: SURVEY. America - Modernism - Fashion.
Astrup Fearnley Collection: Photo and Video. 2005Uncertain States of America - American Art in the 3rd Millennium. MOMENTS! Astrup Fearnley Collection. Damien Hirst. Yoko Ono: Horizontal Memories. 2004Jeff Koons: Retrospective. Everything is Connected. Jeff Wall - Tableaux. Olafur Eliasson- Colour memory and other informal shadows. Vibeke Tandberg. 2003Everyday Aesthetics - Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection. Matthew Barney - The Cremaster Cycle; the Painting never dries... Reflections over paintings in the Astrup Fearnley Collection. Torbjørn Rødland - Grave with a view. Robert Gober - Displacements. Janet Cardiff - Georges Bures Miller. 2002Børre Larsen - Comments. Jens Johannessen - Allegory - Paintings 1998-2002. Mike Bidlo - Not Picasso, Not Pollock, Not Warhol. Reality fantasies - Post-modern Art from the Astrup Fearnley Collection. Mari Slaattelid - Concealing Redness. Claude Rutault - The Painting in the same colour as the wall on which it is hung. Passenger - The Viewer as Participant. 2001Leonard Rickhard - Soft Whispers in the Birch Wood.
Museum 2 - Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection. Børre Sæthre - My Private Sky. Sigmar Polke- Alchimist. 2000Bjørn Carlsen. Museum - Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection. Tom Sandberg - Photographs. Sincerely Yours. 1999Kjell Torriset - Second Nature. Anna Gaskell. School of Oslo. Gilbert & George 1970-1997. Gerhard Richter. Alberto Chissano & Titos Mabota- Two Artists, Two Generations. 1998Odd Nerdrum- Tyve års tilbakeblikk. Siste nytt- Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection. Olivier Debré in Norway. Veikryss- Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection. R. B Kitaj- An American in Europe. 1997Olav Chr. Jenssen- Biographie 1982- 1997. Åpnet rom- Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection. Ørnulf Opdahl -Ved Havet. Per Inge Bjørlo/ Tom Sandberg. Giacometti/ de Staël- a Precarious Balance. 1996Frans Widerberg. Maleri 1956- 1996. Håvard Vikhagen. "Memory of the World". Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection. Malcom Morley 1965- 1995. 1995Knut Rose- Personlig rapport- Retrospective. Ross Blec
Stonesetting is the art of securely setting or attaching gemstones into jewelry. There are two general types of gemstone cutting: facet. Cabochons are smooth domed, with flat backs. Agates and turquoise are cut this way, but precious stones such as rubies and sapphires may be. Many stones like star sapphires and moonstones must be cut this way in order to see the effects the stones have in them. A faceted shape resembles that of the modern diamond, it has a flat, polished surface, it has a transparent surface that refracts light inside the gemstone and reflects light on the outside. In the case of a cabochon stone, the side of the stone is cut at a shallow angle, so that when the bezel is pushed over the stone that angle permits it to hold the stone in place and keep it tight. In the case of faceted stones a shallow groove is cut into the side of the bezel into which the girdle of the stone is placed, metal is pushed over, holding the stone in place. Cabochons can be set into prong settings of various kinds, but the idea is the same—it is the prongs going over the angle of the stone that creates the pressure that holds the stone in place.
Just as the angle of the sides of a cabochon creates the pressure to hold the stone in place, so there is an overlying principle in setting faceted stones. If one looks at a side view of a round diamond, for example, one will see that there is an outer edge, called the girdle, the top angles up from there, the bottom angles down from there. Faceted stones are set by "pinching" that angle with metal. If you imagine holding the girdle with the tips of your thumb and forefinger with both hands, that illustrates it well. All of the styles of faceted stone setting use this concept in another. There are thousands of variations of setting styles, but there are several fundamental types: The earliest known technique of attaching stones to jewelry was bezel setting. A bezel is a strip of metal bent into the shape and size of the stone and soldered to the piece of jewelry; the stone is inserted into the bezel and the metal rubbed over the stone, holding it in place. This method works well for either faceted stones.
Prong setting is the simplest and most common type of setting because it uses the least amount of metal to hold the stone, thus showing it off to its best advantage. It is some number of wires, called prongs, which are of a certain size and shape, arranged in a shape and size to hold the given stone, fixed at the base. A burr of the proper size, is used to cut what is known as a "bearing", a notch that corresponds to the angles of the stone; the burr most used is called a "hart bur", angled and sized for the job of setting diamonds. That bearing is cut into all of the prongs and at the same height above the base; the stone is inserted so that it goes into all of the bearings, pliers or a pusher are used to bend the prongs over the crown of the stone, the tops of the prongs are clipped off with snips, filed to an height above the stone, finished. A "cup burr" is used to give the prong a nice round tip. A cup burr is in the shape of a hemisphere with teeth on the inside, for making rounded tips on wires and prongs.
There are many variations of prong settings including just two prongs, the common 4 prongs or up to 24 or more with many variations involving decoration and shapes of the prongs themselves, how they are fixed or used in jewelry. But the method of setting is the same for all of them no matter how many prongs are present. Channel setting is a method whereby stones are suspended between two bars or strips of metal, called channels; when setting small stones and the bars go in a line with the design it is called channel setting, when the bars cross the lines of the design, it is called bar set. The idea is the same, though; the channel is some variation of a "U" shape, with a bottom. The sides are made just a bit narrower than the width of the stone or stones to be set, using the same burs as in prong setting, a small notch, again called a bearing, is cut into each wall; the stone is put in place in those notches, the metal on top is pushed down, tightening the stone in place. The proper way to set a channel is to cut a notch for each stone, but for cheaper production work sometimes a groove is cut along each channel.
Since the metal can be stiff and strong, this is a situation where a reciprocating hammer, like a jackhammer but jewelry sized, might be used to hammer down the metal, as it can be difficult to do by hand. As always, the metal is filed down and finished, the inner edge near the stones cleaned up and straightened as necessary; as with all jewelry, there can be many variations of channel work. At times the walls will be raised—sometimes a center stone will be set between two bars that rise high from the base ring—or the channel might just be cut directly into some surface, making the stones flush with the metal, it is still channel setting, though. Bead setting is a generic term for setting a stone directly into metal using gravers called burins, which are tiny chisels. A hole is drilled directly into the metal surface, a ball burr is used to make a concave depression just the size of the stone; some setters will set the stone into that concave depression, some will use a hart burr to cut a bearing around the edge.
The stone is inserted into that space, the gravers or burins are used to lift and push a tiny bit of the metal into and over the edge of the stone. A beading tool, a steel shaft with a concave dimple cut into the tip, is pushed onto the bit of meta
Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 854,047 within the city proper, 1,357,675 in the urban area and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area; the city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country but is not its capital, Haarlem. The Amsterdam metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, which has a population of 8.1 million. Amsterdam's name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city's origin around a dam in the river Amstel. Originating as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age, as a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading centre for trade. In the 19th and 20th centuries the city expanded, many new neighbourhoods and suburbs were planned and built.
The 17th-century canals of Amsterdam and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Since the annexation of the municipality of Sloten in 1921 by the municipality of Amsterdam, the oldest historic part of the city lies in Sloten, dating to the 9th century; as the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centres in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an alpha- world city by the Globalization and World Cities study group. The city is the cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, including Philips, AkzoNobel, TomTom and ING. Many of the world's largest companies are based in Amsterdam or established their European headquarters in the city, such as leading technology companies Uber and Tesla. In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city to live in by the Economist Intelligence Unit and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer; the city was ranked 4th place globally as top tech hub in the Savills Tech Cities 2019 report, 3rd in innovation by Australian innovation agency 2thinknow in their Innovation Cities Index 2009.
The Port of Amsterdam to this day remains the second in the country, the fifth largest seaport in Europe. Famous Amsterdam residents include the diarist Anne Frank, artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh, philosopher Baruch Spinoza; the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city centre. Amsterdam's main attractions include its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, the Anne Frank House, the Scheepvaartmuseum, the Amsterdam Museum, the Heineken Experience, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Natura Artis Magistra, Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, NEMO, the red-light district and many cannabis coffee shops, they draw more than 5 million international visitors annually. The city is well known for its nightlife and festival activity, it is one of the world's most multicultural cities, with at least 177 nationalities represented. After the floods of 1170 and 1173, locals near the river Amstel built a bridge over the river and a dam across it, giving its name to the village: "Aemstelredamme".
The earliest recorded use of that name is in a document dated 27 October 1275, which exempted inhabitants of the village from paying bridge tolls to Count Floris V. This allowed the inhabitants of the village of Aemstelredamme to travel through the County of Holland, paying no tolls at bridges and dams; the certificate describes the inhabitants. By 1327, the name had developed into Aemsterdam. Amsterdam is much younger than Dutch cities such as Nijmegen and Utrecht. In October 2008, historical geographer Chris de Bont suggested that the land around Amsterdam was being reclaimed as early as the late 10th century; this does not mean that there was a settlement since reclamation of land may not have been for farming—it may have been for peat, for use as fuel. Amsterdam was granted city rights in either 1300 or 1306. From the 14th century on, Amsterdam flourished from trade with the Hanseatic League. In 1345, an alleged Eucharistic miracle in the Kalverstraat rendered the city an important place of pilgrimage until the adoption of the Protestant faith.
The Miracle devotion was kept alive. In the 19th century after the jubilee of 1845, the devotion was revitalized and became an important national point of reference for Dutch Catholics; the Stille Omgang—a silent walk or procession in civil attire—is the expression of the pilgrimage within the Protestant Netherlands since the late 19th century. In the heyday of the Silent Walk, up to 90,000 pilgrims came to Amsterdam. In the 21st century this has reduced to about 5000. In the 16th century, the Dutch rebelled against Philip II of his successors; the main reasons for the uprising were the imposition of new taxes, the tenth penny, the religious persecution of Protestants by the newly introduced Inquisition. The revolt escalated into the Eighty Years' War, which led to Dutch independence. Pushed by Dutch Revolt leader William the Silent, the Dutch Republic became known for its relative religious tolerance. Jews from the Iberian Peninsula, Huguenots from France, prosperous merchants and printers from Flanders, economic and religious refugees
St James's is a central district in the City of Westminster, forming part of the West End. In the 17th century the area developed as a residential location for the British aristocracy, around the 19th century was the focus of the development of gentlemen's clubs. Anciently part of the parish of St Martin in the Fields, much of it formed the parish of St James from 1685 to 1922. Since the Second World War the area has transitioned from residential to commercial use; the area's name is derived from the dedication of a 12th-century leper hospital to Saint James the Less. The hospital site is now occupied by St James's Palace; the area became known as "Clubland" because of the historic presence of gentlemen's clubs. The section of Regent Street that runs between Waterloo Place and Piccadilly Circus has been renamed'Regent Street St James'. St James's was once part of the same royal park as St. James's Park. In the 1660s, Charles II gave the right to develop the area to Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans who developed it as a predominantly aristocratic residential area around a grid of streets centred on St James's Square.
Until the Second World War, St James's remained one of the most exclusive residential enclaves in London. Notable residences include St James's Palace, Clarence House, Marlborough House, Lancaster House, Spencer House, Schomberg House, Norfolk House and Bridgewater House. St James's was in the ancient parish of St Martin in the Fields in the Liberty of Westminster. Attempts made in 1664, 1668 and 1670 to separate St James's from the parish were resisted by St Martin's vestry; the building of St James's Church, Piccadilly in 1684 forced the issue, a new parish of St James within the Liberty of Westminster was created in 1685. The parish stretched from Oxford Street in the north to Pall Mall in the south, it corresponded to the contemporary St James's area, but extended into parts of Soho and Mayfair. Land south of Pall Mall remained in St Martin in the Fields' parish, St James's Park was split between the parishes of St Martin and St Margaret. St James's Palace was an extra-parochial area and not part of any parish.
A select vestry was created for the new parish. For elections to Westminster City Council, the area is part of the St James's ward; the ward includes Covent Garden, Strand and part of Mayfair. The ward elects three councillors. St James's is bounded to the north by Piccadilly, to the west by Green Park, to the south by The Mall and St. James's Park, to the east by Haymarket. Notable streets include: St James's Square, which retains many of its original houses but is in office use; the London Library is located there. Jermyn Street, an upmarket retail street best known for bespoke shirtmakers and shops offering the finest gentlemen's attire. Pall Mall, which contains many of London's gentlemen's clubs, it is home to Marlborough House, the seat of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Québec Government Office in London. Crown Passage, a narrow street which splits off from Pall Mall opposite Marlborough House and is home to the Red Lion, one of the oldest pubs in London's West End to still be in business.
Haymarket was once the best-known centre of prostitution in London. It contains two historic theatres: Her Majesty's Theatre. Carlton House Terrace, a pair of grand terraces of houses designed by John Nash overlooking St. James's Park. St James's Street; the following utilises the accepted boundaries of St James’s, viz. Piccadilly to the north and Cockspur Street to the east, The Mall to the south and Queen’s Walk to the west. Angel Court – thought to be after a former inn of this name Apple Tree Yard – thought to be after the apple trees to be found here.