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Archibald Knox stunner with boulder opal

In Fine Jewelry > Opal Jewelry > Show & Tell and Fine Jewelry > Art Nouveau Jewelry > Show & Tell.
BelleEpoque's loves455 of 710Two necklaces in the style of Wiener WerkstätteEaglemarked Taxco Mexico Abalone ring probably 1950's
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Posted 3 years ago


(122 items)

This is one of my favourites in our little collection. Another design by Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co, and quite a rare piece due its the impressive opal.

Knox at his best, aided and abetted by William Hair Haseler and Arthur Lasenby Liberty - what a team!

This pendant is recorded as model 500/36 and also as 500/58 in the jewellery section on http://www.archibaldknoxsociety.com. It's about 50 x 30mm including the very clever bale. The opal is about 17 x 12mm.

The piece dates to around 1900-04, and at that time Lightning Ridge black opals were undiscovered. The best opal of the day was Queensland boulder opal, and that's what Liberty & Co. have used here.

A review of Liberty's opal jewellery from the early C20th suggests they exclusively used boulder opal, and it also appears that almost all the Liberty pieces featuring these opals were Archibald Knox designs.

Liberty & Co. were not alone in adopting opals. In France Rene Lalique was creating spectacular masterpieces incorporating opals, and in the USA Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Marcus & Co., made marvellous opal jewels.

They became a signature gemstone for the Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau jewellery movements, and were prominent in British pieces by leading makers including the Guild of Handicrafts, Arthur & Georgina Gaskin, and The Artificers' Guild.


  1. racer4four racer4four, 3 years ago
    Incredibly beautiful.
  2. BelleEpoque BelleEpoque, 3 years ago
    you have a treasure there! thanks for sharing :)
  3. kyratango kyratango, 3 years ago
    Pure beauty! I'm jealous...
  4. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 3 years ago
    Wow, I don't know how I managed to miss this, its a beauty.
  5. Bluboi Bluboi, 3 years ago
    You have wonderful Arts & Crafts pieces and all so well researched! My favorites are the opals! I have a few myself, so will have to get them posted. I have a wonderful Walton & Co opal necklace, but can't get a good photo of the opal.... ;-(
  6. kiwipaul kiwipaul, 3 years ago
    Opals are a family favorite of ours, my wife has a hand dedicated to opal rings and is desperately trying to grow more fingers, and yes they are buggers to photograph.

    When I get some time I'll put up some pics of a few pieces.

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