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Height 42” (107cm) Width 22” (58cm) Depth 15” (38cm)
English, circa 1901-1900
Stock No. 9750
Arthur Lasenby Liberty was born in Chesham, Buckinghamshire in 1843. He was employed by Messrs Farmer and Rogers in Regent Street in 1862, the year of the International Exhibition at Kensington in London. By 1874, inspired by his 10 years of service, Arthur decided to start a business of his own.
Specialist shops were opening in London to supply a movement, known as the aesthetic movement, which was all about individuality of choice. The enterprising Arthur Liberty opened his shop on Regent Street in 1875 and introduced London consumers to a vast array of objects and textiles imported from the Middle East and from Japan and went on to create one of the largest aesthetic movement shops, more a department store in London. Liberty was aestheticism gone commercial.
In 1884 Liberty introduced the costume department into the Regent Street store, directed by Edward William Godwin (1833-1886),the distinguished architect and a founding member of the Costume Society in 1882. He and Arthur Liberty created in-house apparel to challenge the fashions of Paris.
During the 1890s Arthur Lasenby Liberty built strong relationships with many English designers. Many of whom, including Archibald Knox, practised the artistic styles known as Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau, and Liberty helped develop Art Nouveau through his encouragement of such designers. The company became associated with this new style, to the extent that in Italy, Art Nouveau became known as the Stile Liberty, after the London shop.
The store became one of the most prestigious in London.