Important Archibald Knox Cymric necklace for Liberty & Co c1900 crafted in gold with amethysts and pearls


Rare museum piece, well-documented as an important Archibald Knox piece-crafted throughout in gold, c1900

1 in stock


A glorious and scarce piece of British jewellery history, designed by Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co in the c1900 era. Archibald Knox is often viewed as the most influential and important British Art Nouveau designer of the 1900 era. His work is very highly sought after and he was also the most important designer for Liberty & Co in those early decades. A museum quality piece, this “Cymric” necklace is documented in several literature texts, as well as in a Liberty & Co advertisement from the era and is also a numbered design 8008 on p207 in the Liberty Jewellery Designs Sketchbook (please see below for Literature sources). I have seen this stunning design before but with different stones, such as a citrines example, an opals example and a turquoise example. I have never before seen a version with amethysts and also with the fabulous gem-studded settings on either side of the clasp. It is a beauty of a thing.

Other Cymric necklaces like this (a handful only-such a scarcity) have come up in the past in the best English auction houses, like Sotheby’s and Bonhams and in fabulous jewellery galleries such as Tadema Gallery and Van Den Bosch in London. As mentioned, this particular necklace is the only example I have seen which is crafted in gold with amethysts and pearls. The warmth of the pale-to-mid purple stones against the gold makes for such an attractive overall effect.  The three graduated shield-shaped panels are based on a Celtic design. They are graduated in size, with the central panel being approx 3.3cm in height. The use of the freshwater pearls throughout the design adds a further lightness to the look of the necklace. The wearable length of the necklace is approx 42cm (16.5 inches). It would make a fabulous centrepiece for a jewellery collection. It also looks beautiful when worn and it is just incredible to think it was created over 120 years ago, as the design seems so contemporary to us in this day and age.

This is the first time I have come across an example with the gold box clasp being punctuated on either side by a bezel-set amethyst….what a lovely touch! No marks (like the other examples too) but a weight of provenance behind it as seen in the literature below. In pleasing condition with no damage to the stones and only light wear overall; clearly it has been stored away and looked after carefully.

Literature:     Liberty Jewellery Designs Sketchbook, p207, model 8008

Liberty Style by Victor Arwas p62 & 67 

Archibald Knox by Stephen A. Martin, (2001) p251 & 252

The Designs of Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co, Adrian J. Tilbrook, Fig.186 on p190

I shall send in a necklace presentation box (box in images is not included) by complimentary express courier internationally or else by Special Delivery within the UK. Thank you.