An Osiris pewter box based on an Archibald Knox design

For sale is this pewter box by Osiris marked for Isis, its later brand for which Peter Behrens, amongst others, was a leading designer.

The box is a copy,  or inspired by, one of Archibald Knox’s most famous designs for the Liberty & Co Cymric range.  See images for an example of Knox’s original work in silver dated 1900.  The Victoria & Albert Museum has a similar box (ref M.25-1972) on display also.

This pewter box is smaller than the silver original and the blister pearls to the lid have been substituted for Czech blue green glass.  The lid is similarly double hinged and the body carries similar Celtic entrelac. The box has not been polished and carries its original patina. It is marked as model 436 for Osiris, Isis.

I do not normally buy or sell pewter but this piece, perhaps more than any other, exemplifies Knox’s influence on continental European design.  See “further information for more details on Osiris/Isis.

Price: Sold

Maker: Osiris/Isis

Designer: after Archibald Knox

Date : c. 1905

Marks: Osiris, 436,Isis

Material: Pewter, Czech glass

Condition: Very good, handles uneven

Size: 12.5 cm high, 11.5 cm width to base

Weight : NM

SKU: A470 Category:


The OSIRIS factory was founded in 1899 by father Friedich August Scherf ( 1839-1922) and son Walter Scherf (1875 –1909). It was called the “ Metallwarenfabrik Fur Kleinkunst Walter Scherf & co” in Nürnberg.

Before Walter Scherf became head of OSIRIS, he worked at the firm ORIVIT, until 1899 . He took with him some of their workers with and artistic ideals. From 1899 until 1909 the factory produced 1300 items They outnumbered the firm KAYSERZINN with some 300 items . The firm developed a new sort pewter in 1902: the so-called “ISIS” metal. I

The firm worked with great designers such as:

Peter Behrens
Joseph Maria Olbrich
Josef Hoffman
Friedrich Adler
Bruno Paul
Josef Wackerle
Hermann Gradl
Hermann Friling
Lorenz Hofelich
Richard Riemersmid
Walter Scherf  himself

During the firm’s short life it won several prizes :
Certificate of honour in Turin( 1902)
Gold medal of Konig-Ludwig Price (1902)
Gold medal in ST Petersburg (1903/1904)
First and second prize in St. Louis, USA (1904)
Gold medal in Cape town South Africa (1904/1905)
Gold medal in Chistchurch New Zealand (1906/1907) and many certificates and honor medals

In the year 1906 they changed the name OSIRIS to “ISIS Werke Gmbh. kunstgewerblicher Erzeugnisse”
The firm was almost bankrupt by 1908 and sadly in the year 1909 Walter Scherf took his own life. The end of “OSIRIS” –“ISIS” was in 1909.