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Archibald Knox

(British, 1864–1933)

Pair of candlesticks with double candle cups

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Object Details

Artist

Archibald Knox

Date

ca. 1900

Medium

Pewter

Dimensions

11 x 9 inches (27.9 x 22.9 cm)

Credit Line

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

Object
Number

99.078.122 a,b

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONThis is a pair of pewter candlesticks designed by Archibald Knox.WHERE WERE THEY MA(…)

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONThis is a pair of pewter candlesticks designed by Archibald Knox.WHERE WERE THEY MADE?These candlesticks were made in London, England.WHO WAS THE ARTIST?Archibald Knox (1864-1933) designed these candlesticks 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?Pewter is a metal alloy that primarily contains tin, as well as smaller amounts of metals such as antimony and copper. These candlesticks were probably cast from molten pewter, the most common method of working with the metal.WHY DOES IT LOOK LIKE THIS?These candlesticks are 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 by looking at the decoration of stylized ivy and vine that covers the sides and the crossbar of the candlesticks. The exterior of the candle cups are also decorated with stylized ivy leaves. The base is rectangular in shape with rounded corners and features openwork decoration of the same ivy leaf pattern along the longest edges.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, 99.078.115, 99.078.116, 99.078.117, 99.078.141, and 2015.018.012 in the keyword search box.

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