Country Of Origin Australia
Skills Watchmakers, Jewellers, Engravers
Work Locations Launceston
Other By the Piper family:

‘Pipers Jewellers has a proud history that dates back to 1884 when John Edward Piper opened a watchmaker and jewellery business in Launceston. John Edward worked for Dents in London, where he trained as a watch finisher. He then migrated to New Zealand and worked as a foreman for B Peterson & Co, manufacturing jewellers and watchmakers, Christchurch. He and his brother William were responsible for making the first Electric Clock in New Zealand.John Edward came to Launceston and worked for John Sparrow for five months, after which he started his own business in 1884 in Elizabeth Street, the family living above the shop. Later he moved to Charles Street, three doors from Brisbane Street. In 1895, the Van Dieman’s Land Bank closed its doors overnight, and John lost everything. He and his wife and son Norman went steerage to Cape Town, South Africa, where he continued watchmaking and made badges for the Boer War troops.

After the war, they made enough money to return to Launceston, where he again set up business at 6 The Quadrant Mall. Julius Norman Piper worked with his father as a hand engraver and, after his father’s death, moved to the Widows’ Fund Building, later becoming the Mercury building in St John Street. The business then passed from father to sons, John Burnett Piper as a jeweller and hand engraver, and Alistair Graeme Piper as a jeweller. They moved from the Widows’ Fund Building to the ANZ Bank building in St John Street, which had once been Zerchas Business College, and then to the Centreway Arcade.

John and Graeme became partners in J N Piper and Sons, a partnership for 45 years. John’s son Norman John Piper worked for his father and uncle for 11 years, learning the trade, and is a qualified jeweller and gemologist (FGAA). In 1985, he purchased Taylors Jewellers downstairs in the Centreway Arcade and traded as Pipers Jewellers.’

Piper family archives: John Burnett Piper to Graham Mulligan 2014; Anne Laing to Graham Mulligan, emails December 2018, January 2019.
Web: Launceston Precision Jewellers, http://www.precisionjewellers.com.au/history.php