Knox exhibition in London

Knox Cymric Rose Bowl, silver and enamel, WH Haseler, c.1905

Knox Cymric Rose Bowl, silver and enamel, WH Haseler, c.1905

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The greatest collection of Archibald Knox’s metalwork ever seen in a single venue comes to this year’s Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair in London next month.

The exhibition will celebrate British art nouveau and arts and craft designer Knox; it marks the 150th anniversary since the birth of this talented Manx artist.

Knox was born in Tromode, Douglas, on April 9, 1864. A celebratory service was held on this date last month at St German’s Cathedral, Peel.

Liam O’Neill, founder and chairman of the Archibald Knox Society, used his speech at the service, which was read by president of Tynwald Clare Christian, to call for Tynwald – in conjunction with Manx National Heritage, the Isle of Man Arts Council and Culture Vannin – to establish a gallery in the island of Knox’s work, as a lasting legacy in this our island’s year of culture.

(Read more about this on page 9.)

Next month’s exhibition, taking place from June 5 to 15, at the Olympia Exhibition Centre will feature exceptional and rare pieces of Liberty & Co of London and Paris Cymric silver, a large collection of Knox’s Liberty Tudic clocks and jewellery– with exhibits orginating from a number of private collections never before shown in public.

‘Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great Manx designer, Archibald Knox, with this exhibition at Olympia is a long overdue and very fortunate opportunity to appreciate more deeply Knox’s diverse genius, his vast influence on 20th century design and the sheer beauty of his objects,’ said Dr Stephen Martin, author of Archibald Knox and president of the Archibald Knox Society.

The exhibition is being held in association with the Archibald Knox Society and is sponsored – by among others – Culture Vannin.

A lecture by Mr O’Neill on June 7 at 4pm is fully subscribed due to public demand and it is now planned to also hold the lecture at 2pm on the day to meet interest. Admission to the talk and exhibition is free with a fair ticket.

He said: ‘A large group of Knox supporters are travelling to London especially for the exhibition, e-tickets are available from the society by request from our website.

‘We also have a catalogue, which is now available on our website.’

Pièce de résistance of the exhibition is the grand Cymric Rose Bowl, which Historical Design Gallery New York sold to Brad Pitt in 1995, who apparently became interested in Knox while in London filming Interview With A Vampire in the 1990s and saw numerous examples of Knox work.

The rose bowl has a datemark of 1902.

It was believed to have been the largest and most expensive piece of Liberty silver ever made.

It has since been sold to John Bryan, founder of Crabtree Farms Arts and Crafts Museum near Chicago, where it is on view for six months of the year and for the other half at the Art Institute of Chicago.

But a second almost identical rose bowl, which has been in the possession of an Archibald Knox Society member since the 1960s, will also be on display at the ehxibition next month. It will be the first time that this particular rose bowl has ever been exhibited.

For up to date information on the exhibition and the catalogue visit the Archibald Knox Society Facebook page.

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