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Object: Tulip Vase, ’Tudric’

This image has Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons BY-NC-ND Creative Commons BY-NC-ND copyright licence

Title Tulip Vase, ’Tudric’
Production Liberty & Co (creating agency), about 1905, England
Knox, Archibald (designer), about 1905, England
W H Haseler Ltd (manufacturer(s)), about 1905, England
Medium summary pewter
Materials pewter
Classification vases
Technique metalworking
Dimensions Overall: 220mm (Height) x 165mm (Width) x 110mm (Depth)
Credit line Walter C Cook Decorative Art Collection, Gift of Walter Cook, 1992
Registration number GH004284

This Art Nouveau style vase was designed by Archibald Knox, one of the most important designers employed by the London department store, Liberty Co. Born on the Isle of Man, Knox's Celtic background strongly influenced his work. This vase was sold by Liberty Co as part of their 'Tudric' range of pewter.

Liberty Co was founded by Arthur Lasenby Liberty in 1875 as a shop specialising in Oriental and Japanese goods. However the shop also sold furniture, textiles, and decorative items for the home made in a variety of European historical styles popular in England at this time. From the mid 1880s, Liberty began to employ designers to create patterns and objects specifically for the store in the increasingly popular Arts Crafts and Art Nouveau styles.

While Arts Crafts philosophy dictated that objects should be hand crafted, Liberty Co from the turn of the 20th century increasingly began to partner with manufacturers to mass-produce its goods. For example, from 1901 Liberty had its metalwork manufactured in Birmingham by W. H. Haseler, who made this vase. Haseler used machinery to emulate the hammered effects usually created by hand crafting. In doing this, Liberty played a part in the spreading the popularity of the Arts Crafts style, while undermining it by being able to sell its goods at a cheaper price than labour intensive hand crafted work in the same style.

This vase is from the Walter C Cook Collection of Decorative Arts. Over a twenty-five year period, Wellington collector Walter Cook developed a significant collection of British and European decorative arts. In 1993 he gave his collection to the National Museum, now known as Te Papa.

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