Liberty & Co.

1874 - present
London, England; New York, NY

Named for Arthur Lazenby Liberty (b. 1843 in Chesham, England), who started working for Farmer and Rogers' Great Shawl and Cloak Emporium in London in 1862. He asked to become a partner of the firm, but was refused, so opened his own shop in 1874 selling Japanese items. Added a Furnishing and Decorative Studio in 1883. Early things are Aesthetic or Asian-inspired. Began importing European furniture and developed original designs combining European and English Arts & Crafts. Began importing Art Nouveau objects in late 1890's including German pewter (Kayserzinn). Started making their own silver (Cymric) in 1898.

Pewter production began in November, 1901. Manufactured for Liberty by W.H. Haseler. Pieces are interchangeably marked "Tudric Pewter by Liberty & Co.", "English Pewter," "Solkets." The company always insisted on the anonymity of their designers and records have been destroyed over the years so it's often hard to determine the designer for a particular piece. Most Art Nouveau production ended in 1914 but some designs were made into the 1920's. Firm is still in operation as Liberty & Co., P.C., London (they have a branch in NY which is still a source for relatively inexpensive period fabric designs including Morris).

Large footed bowl - about 11-1/2" in diameter and stands about 6-1/2" tall. Hammered texture with band of oak leaves with ten turquoise stones set around the rim. Mark is "0788 / English Pewter / Made by / Liberty & Co."

Thanks to Greg Johnson, who prepared this summary based on material from The Liberty Style, by Victor Arwas, Rizzoli, 1979. Our thanks also to Connie Ziegler of Durwyn Smedley Antiques for scanning the image.

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