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Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co. - Silver & Turquoise Pendant

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    Posted 6 years ago

    (117 items)

    The hunting has been good lately. This is one I didn't expect to get, but as luck would have it, my snipe bid was just one GBP above the under-bidder.

    There are no marks, however it is a well documented piece, shown with mother of pearl in Stephen Martin's book on pg255, where it is identified as model 8184, and also reproduced on the Archibald Knox Society website.

    A classic piece of Knox, I was rapt to get it!

    ps. size is 42mm high (including the bale) and 30mm wide.

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    1. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Lucky Paul !
      Great documentation too :-)
    2. antiquerose antiquerose, 6 years ago
      ~ W ~ O ~ W ~
    3. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 6 years ago
      Unfortunately I don't have any of Archibald Knox work, but I do have some of Murrle Bennett pieces. I think I read that Archibald Knox sold his work to Murrle Bennett?
    4. GeodeJem GeodeJem, 6 years ago
      I would like to see your new Zealand Tiki. Your posted piece if stunning too
    5. kiwipaul kiwipaul, 6 years ago
      Hi Jean, no one knows how Murrle Bennett came to reproduce a number of Knox designs. The general consensus is that to keep up with demand Liberty & Co outsourced manufacture of some pieces to Murrle Bennett.

      The picture is further complicated because quite a few of Murrle Bennett's own designs are very much in the Liberty/Knox style.
    6. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 6 years ago
      Hi Paul,
      The designs of some of Murrles work is very similar to Archibald Knox, I wonder if she had his permission to more less copy his work. I suppose now a days she would have been sued for copying his work.
    7. Jewels1900 Jewels1900, 6 years ago
      Hi Jean, Murrle Bennet are a company, (MB&Co), like Levinger & Bissenger. A least one member of the partnership, John Baker Bennett, was English & initially made jewellery under his name (JBB mark). It seems this line of jewellery was retailed through Liberty. At some stage Bennett teamed up with a manufacturer in Germany, (the Murrle half) and they made jewellery in the anglo-german style for the English market.

      If my memory serves me correctly (and it's likely Paul will know more & correct me), Knoz sold his designs to The Silver Studio (as did many arts & crafts designers including King, Baker etc). The Silver Studio then sold the designs to Liberty who then had them made up by various companies in their ranges (Tudric, Cymric etc). Hassler (WHH), made exclusively for Liberty, other companies were engaged to make for Liberty from time-t0-time but also had other client like Connells of Cheapside. Likely MB&Co made directly for Liberty as well as their own ranges. This is why you sometimes get Liberty pieces signed Liberty, WHH, just with a patient number and somethings with nothing. It's entirely possibly that the same design may have been made-up by a number of different companies.

      There is no doubt that there is a range of gold jewellery made in the anglo-german style very similar to Knox designs. Sometimes they are marked MB&Co, sometimes nothing. They can be differentated for other examples of Knox's designs by their fine wirework, small semi-precious stones (often rubies & peridots) and seed pearls.

      As an identified piece of Knox by a reputable expert, this piece is particularly interesting. It has a typically Liberty bale (this bale is seen on lots of Liberty pieces designed by a number of different designers and not outside the Liberty range os it's one of their design features), the inverted heart at the top is typically MB&Co and the wave/ripple style setting is a strong german/jungendstil design element.

      It's truly an Anglo-German hybrid.

      This tricky thing is that Liberty never recorded or acknowledged designers, they may not even have known who some were. I think The Silver Studios records were destroyed in a fire. So this makes some attributions very tricky. For many years, all Silver Studios designs were attributed to Rex Silver, luckily Knox kept good records and many attributions have been made from those.

      I'm not sure how the Liberty design books all fit into this. I've yet to figure that out. Maybe Paul knows?

    8. Jewels1900 Jewels1900, 6 years ago
      BTW, it's a very very long time since I've done any reading on any of this. It's entirely possible that there's been some more research published and more is known.
    9. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 6 years ago
      Thank you yet again Jewels1900, for your informative write up. I'm beginning to understand more about this type of jewellery. Sorry for hijacking your site Paul, but I would really like to know more, I have a thirst for knowledge.
    10. Jewels1900 Jewels1900, 6 years ago
      Poor Paul, always having his posts highjacked. But he will go posting interesting & exciting jewels so he's got no one to blame but himself!
    11. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 6 years ago
      Yes I totally agree with Jewels1900, if you post interesting things, then someone like me hijacks your site, lol.
    12. Gillian, 5 years ago
      Was it more likely to be called Arts & Crafts when made in U.K., and Art Nouveau when made in U.S.A.? Are both completely interchangeable?
      Was looking at a new posting of a pendant today, and kiwipaul's name came up as a source of good information. I don't mean to detract from the pendant post.
    13. kiwipaul kiwipaul, 5 years ago
      Hi Gillian, in both UK & USA the terms Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts are pretty much interchangeable, especially by the public and by dealers.
    14. Jewels1900 Jewels1900, 5 years ago
      Hi Gillian, there are distinctive differences between Arts & Crafts & Art Nouveau including design elements and production (hand made v. machine made). And there's lots of cross-over.

      This Liberty pendant is a good example of a cross-over. It's designed in the Arts & Crafts manner but at least partly machine made. At the time, pieces retailed by Liberty were considered too Art Nouveau for Arts & Craft purists.

      Not to worry about hijacking, as you can see we all do it! (Mainly to Paul!)
    15. Gillian, 5 years ago
      I'm very grateful to you kiwipaul and Jewels1900, there is so much to learn and look at, and wonder over. Thank you.

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