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


c. 1900
Enamelled gold, height 5 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This enamelled gold pendant is from the Cymric jewellery range of Liberty & Company. It was designed by Archibald Knox and made by W. H. Haseler Ltd., London.

Established in 1875, Liberty's department store in London built its reputation on supplying artistic and unusual products. In 1899 it launched a line of 'Cymric' jewellery, which drew both the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts styles. Cymric jewellery featured sinuous lines, unusual gemstones and often appeared to be hand-beaten. However, it was commercially produced using machine processes - something which enraged Arts and Crafts jewellers like C.R. Ashbee.

Cymric jewellery was very popular. Its success was partly due to the innovation and talent of the designers employed by Liberty, including Archibald Knox, who designed this piece. Knox was a designer and teacher from the Isle of Man and was responsible for some of the Cymric range's most exceptional designs, particularly those based on Celtic interlace.

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