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Tile - Heron
  • Heron
    Webb, Philip Speakman, born 1831 - died 1915
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  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1860-1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Webb, Philip Speakman, born 1831 - died 1915 (designer)
    Morris & Co. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware, painted overglaze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 139, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 35, shelf 8

This tile was formerly set within a fireplace in a house in Cambridge. It is one of a set of six decorated with birds. The designs are probably by the architect and designer Philip Webb, and are also found on stained glass in the Red House, which Webb designed for William Morris. The fireplace from which the tiles came also included tiles of another Morris & Co. design, 'Leaves and Berries'.

Physical description

Tile painted in blue on a tin glaze with a bird subject, enclosed within a line border. The designs are painted onto already glazed and fired tile blanks, produced in the Netherlands.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1860-1870 (made)


Webb, Philip Speakman, born 1831 - died 1915 (designer)
Morris & Co. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware, painted overglaze


Width: 15.2 cm approx.

Object history note

Probably dating from the 1860s or early 1870s, these tiles (C.72 to 79-2005) were removed from the fireplace of a house in Cambridge during renovation in around 2003-4. The arrangement of the tiles within the fireplace is known (see RF 2005/468). The series of bird designs were probably designed by Philip Webb, and these are also known from stained glass from the Red House. A panel of glass of this design is in the V&A (C.63-1979; cat no. H5 in the 1996 V&A William Morris exhibition). Examples of the some of the tiles matching these designs are in the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow (see Richard and Hilary Myers, William Morris Tiles, 1996, pp10-11), but this set of six represents the complete set, and as such are an important group. The remaining tiles from the fireplace (represented by C.78 & 79-2005) were of another early Morris & Co. design, Leaves and Berries (see pp14-15 of the same publication).

Descriptive line

Tile, 'Heron' design, attributed to Philip Webb, ca.1860-70

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Myers, Richard and Hilary, William Morris Tiles, Shepton Beauchamp, 1996, pp.10-11.


Earthenware; Tin glaze



Subjects depicted

Heron; Birds


Tiles; Ceramics; Earthenware


Ceramics Collection

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