INTEREST shown in an exhibition and sale of one man’s Archibald Knox collection left him staggered.
‘It was unbelievable,’ said seller Chris Hobdell of the event held at Braddan Church hall on Friday and Saturday.
‘Two hundred and fifty people came through the door in 50 minutes,’ said Mr Hobdell, who decided he was ready to part with his collection, built up over several years, as he will be spending more time in India after his retirement.
Visitors enjoyed the chance to handle many of the exhibits, which including stunning silverware, pewter and ceramics.
In less than two hours on Friday, everything bar a spoon and brooch was sold. By 7.45pm that evening the spoon was sold too and by 11am the following morning the brooch went. The sale made about £35,000, and charging an admission fee raised £1,276 for Braddan Church.
Friday, February 22, marked the 80th anniversary of the death of internationally acclaimed Manx artist/designer Archibald Knox, who was born in 1864 at Cronkbourne, and whose name is synonymous with art nouveau designs in silver, pewter and enamels.
‘I was completely blown away. The people of the Isle of Man love Archibald Knox and his things,’ said Mr Hobdell, who moved to the island 25 years ago.
Related article: Archibald Knox sale of works
He was delighted that the 25 items sold went to either people in the Isle of Man or Manx people living in England and he has heard from at least a couple of buyers that they have given the artwork pride of place in their homes.
The only exception he made was in the case of the sale of his rare planter (jardiniere) in glazed brown, which was sold to the much admired authoritative on Knox, Dr Stephen A. Martin in America. ‘It is a very, very rare piece and in perfect condition,’ said Hobdell.
He is in complete agreement with Liam O’Neill, chairman of the Archibald Knox Society, that there should be a gallery or permanent exhibition dedicated to Knox – and he suggested that a signpost to where Knox’s was born or lived could be erected.
‘People would flock from all over the world to come and see,’ he said.
Mr O’Neill organised for a group to visit Knox’s grave on Friday at New Braddan Graveyard in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the artist’s death. Among those gathered at the graveside was 101-year-old Hazel Dean, a pupil of Knox’s at the Douglas Art School.
She also attended the exhibition and sale and produced a framed photo of herself with Knox outside the Douglas Art School in Kensington Road, and her name illuminated by Knox on a page from her autograph book.
Mr O’Neill was pleased that a number of students from the Isle of Man College in Douglas also attended the grave. Knox encouraged imagination and individuality ‘and that’s what they do at the Isle of Man College; it’s visible in the end of year exhibitions’.
Mr O’Neill said of the commemoration of Knox’s death: ‘It brought home to the Manx public in a much stronger way the importance of Knox and how he’s appreciated here on the island and how many people want to have a piece of Knox in the sense of owning his art.’
Next year marks the 150th anniversary of Knox’s birth and Mr O’Neill is looking to organise a similar sale of Knox artwork to mark the occasion.
He would be interested to hear from anyone who would have Knox artworks for sale, phone 665459.
For the latest information on all things Knox visit: www.facebook.com/ArchibaldKnoxSociety
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Isle of Man
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west