KNOX, Archibald
(b. 1864, Cronkbourne, Isle of Man, d. 1933, Douglas, Isle of Man)

Box (model 652 variant)

Silver, enamel, and opal, 14 x 16 x 26 cm
Museum of Art, Dallas

The box, designed by Archibald Knox, was manufactured for Liberty & Co. by W. H. Haseler Ltd., London. This firm acted in partnership with Liberty & Co. for the manufacture of the Cymric range of silverware.

During the late 19th century, archaeological investigations and discoveries contributed to regionalist and nationalist impulses in the decorative arts, such as the so-called "Viking Revival" style, rife with Scandinavian forms. Manx designer Archibald Knox often paired ornament inspired by the traditional arts of his Celtic ancestors with stylistic conventions of contemporary design movements. This box, enlivened by Celtic-inspired interlaced knots and enamelled buds characteristic of the English Arts and Crafts movement, captures the dual senses of historicism and modernity that defined turn-of-the-century design.

This box is one of four variants known to exist. The Museum's example is the most elaborate of the four and is distinguished from the other known examples by its bulging lid and massive opal cabochon. The complexity and scale of this work suggest it was made on special order and was among the more costly works in Liberty & Co.'s Cymric line of silver goods.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.