Ancestors® Group was formed in 1992, initially a firm of professional family historians, using their artists they produced their first gift item the following year, the Royal Chart, followed by a pack of medieval playing cards. Using design skills learnt from designing Coats of Arms, the founder, Nicholas Humphery-Smith, continued to use his history knowledge and that of his colleagues to produce a large range of children’s items suitable for the heritage and tourist shops under the brand Timeline®, a brand that is still going strong to this day.
The company has worked designing and manufacturing products on the premises, with the help of dedicated outworkers, for names such as Harrods, Hamleys, The Victoria and Albert Museum, English Heritage, Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, Cadw, and many other famous clients both large and small. They have even hired out their replica Crown Jewels production companies filming Johnny English, Young Victoria, Madness of King George to name a few. It has developed a large range of jewellery under licences with, the V&A, Historic Royal Palaces, RHS, Royal Ballet and Natural History Museum.
Housed in an 11,000 sq ft. factory in Folkestone, Kent, were we now concentrate on research, design, development and manufacture of services and products for the heritage industry.
Ancestors® have been casting in fine English lead-free pewter since 1999 – No other metal is allowed on the premises so you can be assured of a product with no lead contamination. We cast all our own metal products such as miniature crowns, keyrings, miniature figures, rings, pendants, pencil toppers and vast majority of our jewellery, producing quality products. The company has a policy of continually investing in new designs and projects learning many new skills along the journey of building the business, they are specialists in lead-free pewter casting producing many 100,000s soldiers, bracelets, crowns and rings a year. And now the company have gained over 15 manufacturing processes.
- Lead free pewter casting being able to cast almost any 3D model up to a maximum size of around 12cm
- The very best in laser engraving and cutting almost any material. Both metal and organic. This is great for personalising leather, shot glasses and jewellery and cutting shapes,
- High definition Resin doming / encapsulation makes wonderful
- High Definition ink jet printing – perfect for flexible fridge magnets
- Digital printing up to 300gms card for most packaging requirements
- Crushed marble resin casting processed used for making SAC Themed Chess Sets
- Hand painting – for painting miniature crowns and chess sets
- Stoning of Swarovski crystals for miniature crowns and jewellery
- Pad printing for personalising our Famous Goose Feather Pens
- Frame making so custom prints from the company database of surnames and Coats of Arms can be made to order.
- Mug, t-shirt and hat presses for small runs
- Laminating for making coasters and other items
- Enamelling used for Xmas decorations and various jewellery
- Micro-Soldering to cufflinks and brooch parts to cast pewter
- Foil blocking for short run boxes and cards
- Wire-binding for making notepads and calendars
Customisation for clients is a big strength of the business, being able to offer most products with own label packaging and designs. Brands owned such as TimeLine, Crowns & Regalia, Heraldic Express, The Quill Store, Historic Image, Winter Reproductions, Hollywood Greats and most recently SAC Studio Anne Carlton Themed Chess Sets are mainly produced in our factory.
Gifts produced are vast including Themed Chess sets, Foam Swords & Shields, Royalty jewellery and miniature crowns, Genuine Feather pens, Colour in Poster sets, many statues ranges from Gothic, Fantasy to culture and legendary Roman and Greek Gods. Many personalised gifts are produced for mail order companies and dropped shipped from our factory for them with us using our inventory. Ancestors® is always moving on, keeping steady the products that have helped build the business making move with the times but never stopping to bring new innovotive products to the market.