Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
Price range: £5,000-10,000
For sale is this really stunning, large, gold pendant set with purple, blue green opal plaques and Celtic knot shoulders. The pendant is undoubtedly designed by Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co in around 1903. See my research on these “cloissone” opal designs published on my website at this link. Also see item A434 in the Archive for a similarly designed Liberty bracelet. I think the “cloisonne” opal, or “mosaic” opal, genre represents some of Knox’s best jewellery designs, and within that genre, this pendant is one of the most striking.
The pendant is unmarked and is most likely 15 carat gold. The use of “cloissone style” opal plaques is typically only seen in Archibald Knox’s work for Liberty. Examples can be seen in necklace model 8202 and pendant models 1382 and 1113 in Dr Stephen Martin’s book on Archibald Knox, second edition, pages 246-7. Th gold heart design is also seen on period art nouveau Liberty jewellery and is on ring models 4162 and 4117 in the same book, page 263. This pendant will be published in Dr Stephen Martin’s forthcoming third edition of Archibald Knox.
The pendant is in excellent condition with some opal plaques replaced that were damaged or missing. Visible only under magnification are tiny elements of chips or cracks to one or two of the opal plaques, commensurate with the pendants age.
Maker: Liberty & Co
Designer: Archibald Knox
Date: c 1903
Material: Gold (carat not tested), opal
Condition: Very good, see description
Size: Height central pendant incl pearl drop 5.0 cm, 4.0 cm max width
Weight: 11 grams, 0.4 oz