Jessie M. King was a Scottish illustrator and designer known for her Art Nouveau style. Born in Glasgow, she studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1892 to 1899. Perhaps best known for her work as a book illustrator, King was one of the most commercially successful designers to emerge from Glasgow at this time. A prolific and successful 'Glasgow Style' designer, she sold fabric designs to Liberty and Co. and produced jewellery designs for their Cymric line
During her early period, she created detailed pen and ink illustrations on vellum, creating a fairy-tale feel with the use of dotted lines. Her first published designs were for the covers of books published by Globus Verlag, Berlin. King had a long career as a book illustrator, producing more than 80 titles. She won a gold medal for a cover design in the Turin exhibition of Decorative Art in 1902. Internationally recognised, King won a number of other awards and was published regularly in The Studio.
From 1911 to 1928, King and her husband moved to France, where they opened an art school. It can be argued that some of her finest works belong to this Paris period, incorporating her pen and ink technique with vivid colours. King’s work during this period can also be considered as influential to the creation of the Art Deco movement.
This April, we are delighted to bring a selection of illustrations and jewellery designed for Liberty & Co., London to auction in our Decorative Arts: Design since 1860 sale in Edinburgh. Select works include pen and ink on vellum, ‘The Rose Tree’ and watercolour with pen and ink, "When Childer Plays.." alongside necklaces designed for Liberty & Co., London.