Arts & Crafts oak mantle clock by Liberty & Co., circa 1900 at Liberty, London. The clock is inlaid with pewter depicting the rising sun.
Read about Arts & Crafts at Liberty in my article in Heart Home magazine, which launches today! See page 154 to read about the inimitable Patch Rogers and Liberty's annual Arts & Crafts selling exhibition.
Arthur Lasenby Liberty launched Liberty of London in 1875. In 1924, a new store was built from oak and teak timber taken from two 19th-century battle ships: the HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. Liberty’s floors were constructed of deck timber from the same ships.
Arthur Liberty’s voyages of discovery took him to Japan, North Africa and beyond. He returned to London with ceramics, prints, wallpaper, silks and fabric that would greatly influence furniture, fabrics and decorative objects produced and sold by Liberty.
Liberty encouraged John Ruskin and William Morris – widely credited for starting the Arts & Crafts movement - in their design and development of well-made furniture, fabric, wallpaper and decorative objects for the home. From the 1880s onwards, the Arts & Crafts movement sought to celebrate talents of individual craftsmen using quality materials, while reforming manufacturing techniques.
Arts & Crafts is mostly British-based furniture, with Liberty its first port of call. But the Arts & Crafts movement also proved popular in the United States and in the Netherlands. Around 1900, Liberty had an acclaimed Arts & Crafts concession in a Dutch department store. Arts & Crafts also gained admirers in France and Belgium.
Visit Liberty’s Annual Arts & Crafts Selling Exhibition on the 4th floor at Great Marlborough Street, London W1B 5AH. London Underground stations nearby are Oxford Circus, Central, Bakerloo and Victoria lines and Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines).
An original clock from the Aesthetic Movement at Liberty, London.