Archibald Knox’s designs for Liberty & Co. are very well documented, especially his designs for their ‘Tudric’ and ‘Cymric’ ranges. Knox is known to have produced only a few extra-sized clocks during his Liberty period and it may be that this rare example was produced as a special commission.
Knox’s work draws on the rich cultural heritage of his native Isle of Man. As with many of the larger clocks that are known to exist, their monumental and minimalist forms are reminiscent of the standing Celtic stones which populate the island’s countryside and which Knox spent a lifetime exploring. The decoration on these examples, stripped of superfluous ornament, incorporates abalone shell inlay as a series of narrow strips; a stark and striking visual effect that signals a modernist approach to the design. These impressive clocks fulfil Knox’s desire to bring together two worlds which he valued deeply: the ancient Celtic tradition and the new, modern world of design, which was undergoing the development of a new and innovative aesthetic.
We are delighted to offer this fine example of Archibald Knox's 'Tudric' clock alongside a number of other works by Knox including clocks, table ware and candlesticks in our forthcoming auction of Decorative Arts: Design since 1860 that took place live online in November 2020.