Silver

An early and unusual Liberty Cymric art nouveau large silver cup

Price range: £1,000-5,000

For sale is this unusual large Liberty silver cup, hallmarked for London 1900, date letter “e”.   Art nouveau in style, the organic shape of the piece is augmented with a clover design to the main body of the cup.  It is a good gauge and altogether a fine piece representing Liberty’s early Cymric designs.

The designer is unknown.  It is almost certainly not by any of the usual candidates (Knox, Baker, Veazey, Cuzner).  I think it likely that this cup was one of the unpublished entrants that received a third place “Honourable Mention” in the Studio competition to design a silver cup, the results announced in the Studio volume 57, December 1897.  The design for the winning cup in that competition was acquired by Liberty as was the second placed entry by Katherine Coggin.

Condition is very good.  Originally, according to the 1899 Cymric catalogue, pieces  like this were not highly polished.  Over the years that patina has been lost and there is some “broken fire” (different colouration in the silver) showing through the interior of the rim from years of polishing.  This is of no great importance.  Like many of these early Liberty pieces it is a very good gauge of silver.

This piece appears in the Liberty silver sketch book page 220. Unusually it carries no model number suggesting it is unique and may have been “bought in” by Liberty from an art school rather than through the firm of Haselers (whose model numbers are inscribed in the sketch book).

Maker: Liberty & Co

Designer: Unknown

Date : 1900

Marks: Ly & Co Liberty mark, London, date latter “e”

Material: Sterling silver

Condition: Very good

Size: 18.0 cm high

Weight : 359 grams, 12.7 oz

SKU: A899 Category:

Description

See article by myself, Anthony Bernbaum, entitled “Origins of the Liberty Cymric range”  in the Archibald Knox Society Journal 2014 Volume III, Page 26.  Liberty registered their new London marks in the final week of May 1899, one week before the London date letter changed to “d” for 1899/1900. Thereafter, all Liberty items of this period carry Birmingham marks.  Archibald Knox earliest works at this time did not yet carry his trademark modernist style or classic celtic knots. Please see additional images.

Additional information

Period

Art nouveau, Arts and crafts