Studio: international art — 2.1894

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1 cm
Of Some Old Keys

to trade. How difficult is it for the small voice of engaged in producing works of art, as opposed to
the art-worker to be heard above the roar of the commercial work, and that is that we should be
wheels of Mammon's car as it grinds heavily along ! more particular in signing or marking each piece.
It was not so in the past in Grecian lands and in It gives an added personality and is an abiding
sunny Italy; it was not so when the works that proof that the artist was satisfied with it when it

passed out of his hands. As The Studio told us
in a recent article, the Japanese nearly always
signed their "Netsukes," and these being of
the nature of an article of dress, show that they
are not given to despise even such small matters.
It is an excellent example to us.

Nelson Dawson.



At such a time as this, when
everybody has been reading George
Egerton, and the book with a key on the back
(the key into the design of which Aubrey Beard-
sley has cunningly introduced the initials of the
mttt cnM nAwsoN writer's pseudonym) has become a familiar object,

designed and executed by nelson dawson ' '

it may not be out of place to make a few reflec-

j u^o.ieo mnnev tions on the shapely fashioning of keys. And
now fill our museums were done; because money /Ct y ,

. , • ■__„,-v, into although it is not safe to generalise from so limited

played but a small part in bringing such into 6 _6 .

1 1 , , .• . 0i„„„ nrmm a selection of keys as that on view in the Exhibition

existence__the love of the artist alone accom- j

, , _u f1-,rw!,rr| tn of Early Italian Art at the New Gallery (as they
plished it. As artists we can only look forward to J J \ J

* . , r fotqi tn amount to not more than sixteen or seventeen all

the time when the sword of commerce, fatal t0

told; they are only of one metal, steel; and they
,„-...-. belong, with perhaps two exceptions, to one period,

jtf tne sixteenth century), yet they may be taken as a

jfT convenient text for the present notice. Now the

jf . ^.^r:^T.-.. most usual European type of revolving key con

"^c^ju sists, roughly speaking, of three parts—viz., the

/ .JjL . r • \ handle or bow (French, poignie), the stem, shaft or

barrel (tigne), and the wards, the web or bit (pan-
ttk netori) ; in addition to which the junction (boucle)
J*''W h between the stem and the bow is sometimes of

sufficient moment to constitute in itself a distinct
h ,7 part. In the case of some of the keys at the New

h ctC J' Gallery, the junction is indeed a very marked

v feature, and takes the form of a moulded knop, of

a coronet, or, more ordinarily, as though the stem
were a column, of a capital of Renaissance char-
acter. One of the main defects in the shape of the
keys of the present day is the insignificance, if not
designed and executed by nelson dawson the totai absence, of this feature. One has only

to compare the two kinds of key, and the strength
work the worker, and the people at large, shall be and solidity of one of the ancient pattern, with its
turned into the reaping-hook of loving labour. massive bow set securely on to the barrel, is

In conclusion, there is just a word that might be strikingly evident. Some modern keys actually
added concerning those of us who are art-workers taper at the top of the barrel, and thus the weak-

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