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Archibald Knox

(British, 1864–1933)

Clock

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Object Details

Artist

Archibald Knox

Date

ca. 1900

Medium

Silver with enameled face on copper

Dimensions

8 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches (21.6 x 13.3 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Isabel and William Berley, Classes of 1947 and 1945

Object
Number

99.078.115

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONArchibald Knox designed this small clock, which features a round face in deep blue (…)

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONArchibald Knox designed this small clock, which features a round face in deep blue and green enamel. Notice the stylized vine and triangular leaf pattern that appears around the clock face and in the lower corners.WHERE WAS IT MADE?This clock was made in London, England.WHO WAS THE ARTIST?Archibald Knox (1864-1933) designed this clock for Liberty and Company. Knox was trained at the Douglas School of Art on the Isle of Man from 1878 to 1884 before moving to London in 1897. There he worked for the Silver Studio and taught at Redhill and Kingston Art Schools. His association with Arthur Lasenby Liberty, founder of Liberty and Company, began in 1901 when he designed a collection of silver and jewelry for the company. Knox became Liberty’s most outstanding creative artist, designing over 400 carpet, fabric, and metalwork designs between 1904 and 1912. He resigned from his teaching position at Kingston College of Art in 1912 and formed the Knox Guild of Craft and Design, which held very successful annual exhibits from 1913 until World War II began in 1939. Liberty and Company was founded by Arthur Lasenby Liberty (1843-1935) on Regent Street in London in 1875. It provided clients with ornaments, fabrics, and decorative art objects from Japan and the Far East. In 1884, under the directorship of E.W. Godwin, the firm opened a costume department and in the 1890s Liberty became associated with some of England’s leading designers and key figures in the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements, such as Archibald Knox. The business was an immediate success and the firm became synonymous with luxury and great design.HOW WAS IT MADE?The face of the clock is made from vitreous enamel. This type of enamel is created when powdered glass is fused to a substrate by firing. The powdered substance melts and hardens into a smooth, durable coating upon a metal, glass, or ceramic base. In this case, the enamel has been carefully applied to a copper base, leaving the copper bare in the shape of each number.WHY DOES IT LOOK LIKE THIS?This clock is a good example of Knox’s “Cymric” style. Cymric style silver has a handmade appearance and incorporated elements of Celtic style and Art Nouveau. You can see this influence in the interlacing vine decoration around the clock face and the brightly painted enamel decoration.To see other objects by Archibald Knox in the Johnson Museum’s collection, search for object numbers 99.078.113 a-e, 99.078.114, 99.078.116, 99.078.117, 99.078.122 a,b, 99.078.141, and 2015.018.012 in the keyword search box.

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