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Knox’s £37,000 treasure chest

25 March 2008Written by ATG Reporter

This oak architect’s or engineer’s chest is quite possibly a one-off piece made for renowned Liberty & Co. designer Archibald Knox by the Barnstable firm Shapland and Petter.

Not only does the 4ft 2in (1.26m) chest carry trademark Celtic knot motifs with gilt highlights to the facia, the top opens on axe-form hinges to reveal a similar design centred with the inscription A Knox 1903. The fall front lock bears the stamp SPB for Shapland and Petter.

This enigmatic object - sold without a provenance connecting it to Knox - was consigned for sale at Penrith Farmers' & Kidd's March 12 sale by a Keswick vendor in whose family it had been for many years. The Cumbrian auctioneers estimated it conservatively at £2000-3000 but in fact two commission bids saw the competition open at £12,000.

One of eight telephone bidders, a private buyer from south of England won it at £37,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium).

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ATG Reporter

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