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Tile - The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Merry Wives of Windsor

  • Object:

    Tile

  • Place of origin:

    Hereford (made)
    Saxmundham (painted)

  • Date:

    ca.1964 (made)
    ca.1964 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hereford Tiles (makers)
    Florian Studios (artists)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Transfer printed ceramic, painted underglaze

  • Credit Line:

    Richard Vincent Hughes Bequest

  • Museum number:

    S.317-1981

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This tile was issued in 1964, probably as a souvenir of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth. It follows a tradition of ceramic tiles printed with theatrical images which began in the late 18th century when the technique of transfer-printing on to ceramic tiles was introduced.

Although the tile bears the title The Merry Wives of Windsor, it appears to show a scene from the Henry IV plays, with the rogue Falstaff and his cronies sitting in the Boar's Head tavern in London's Eastcheap. Falstaff appears in both The Merry Wives and the two Henry IV plays. Tradition has it that Queen Elizabeth I so liked the character in Henry IV than she insisted that Shakespeare write another Falstaff play, and Shakespeare obliged with The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Physical description

A tile painted with a scene from The Merry Wives of Windsor, showing Falstaff and cronies sitting at a tavern table. Mrs Quickly has a tankard in her right hand. The tile is painted in underglaze in blue, magenta, yellow, green and brown. 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' is written in the top right hand corner.

Place of Origin

Hereford (made)
Saxmundham (painted)

Date

ca.1964 (made)
ca.1964 (painted)

Artist/maker

Hereford Tiles (makers)
Florian Studios (artists)

Materials and Techniques

Transfer printed ceramic, painted underglaze

Marks and inscriptions

'The Merry Wives of Windsor'
Written in the top right hand corner, on the front.

Russian postage stamp
Shakespeare 400 celebrates 1964
Verso

'TILE BODY MADE BY HEREFORD TILES LTD. FOR FLORIAN STUDIOS SAXMUNDHAM SUFFOLK'
Verso in raised letters

17
T8
Verso, in centre

Dimensions

Height: 15.3 cm, Width: 15.3 cm

Descriptive line

Tile illustrated with a scene from Shakespeare's play The Merry Wives of Windsor. Transfer print, hand-coloured, by Florian Studios, Saxmundham. Issued on the 400th anniversay of the birth of Shakespeare

Materials

Ceramic; Paint; Glaze

Techniques

Firing (heating); Underglazing

Categories

Tiles

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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