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  • Place of origin:

    London, England (made)

  • Date:

    1869 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Poynter, born 1836 - died 1919 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Drawing in pencil and watercolour on paper squared for transfer

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case NN, shelf 3

Object Type
This detailed design is highly finished and even the stonework of the fountain is painted to imitate marble. It could thus have served as a presentation drawing to Sir Henry Cole, the Director of the South Kensington Museum.

Design & Designing
The division of this design into squares is a process called 'squared for transfer'. This technique facilitates the enlargement of a design. A grid containing an equal number of squares is ruled on the original drawing and on the surface destined for the enlarged design. The design is then transferred, square by square. The number of squares in this design, however, does not match the number of tiles in the tile panel. There are, in fact, 104 squares in the design and 33 tiles and five parts of tiles in the tile panel.

Henry Scott, a Royal Engineer officer employed on building the new Museum, compiled a list of the ladies he was employing as porcelain painters. They were Amy E. Black, Miss Walker, Miss Judd, Miss Earle, Miss Hall, Miss Cambridge, who were all paid at the rate of 6d an hour, except Amy Black who received 9d.

Place of Origin

London, England (made)


1869 (made)


Poynter, born 1836 - died 1919 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Drawing in pencil and watercolour on paper squared for transfer

Marks and inscriptions

'18 EJP 69'
'Design for a panel to be done in tiles- Refreshment Room. S.K.M. / Edward J. Poynter. / May 26th/69'


Height: 65.7 cm height of paper at greatest extent, Width: 40.3 cm width of paper at greatest extent

Object history note

Poynter was invited to tender for the decoration of the V&A Grill Room in November 1865. This particular design bears Poynter's monogram signature with the date 1869. It also includes a descriptive note signed by Poynter and dated 26th May 1869.

Descriptive line

E. J. Poynter, design for tile panel in V&A Grill Room: fountain with peacocks and ducks. 1869.

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

Physick, John. The Victoria and Albert Museum: The History of Its Building. London: The Victoria & Albert Museum, 1982, pp. 139-141 and pls. XXVII-XXIX
Sheppard, F. H. W. (general ed.). Survey of London, vol. XXXVIII: The Museums Area of South Kensington and Westminster. London: Athlone Press, University of London, 1975, p. 111 and pl. 15

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This panel was designed by Edward Poynter, who became Principal of the National Art Training School. Female students painted the designs on to ceramic tiles which were used to decorate the Grill Room on the ground floor of the South Kensington Museum, now the V&A. That room is now called the Poynter Room. [27/03/2003]

Subjects depicted



Designs; Tiles; History of the V&A

Collection code


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