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Punch bowl

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    William De Morgan, born 1839 - died 1917 (designer)
    Passenger, Fred (painter (artist))
    William De Morgan - Merton Abbey Factory (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Earthenware, painted

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Evelyn Brooke, in memory of her father, the Rev. Stopford Brooke

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 125, Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery, case 8

Object Type
This substantial bowl was described on its acquisition as a punch bowl but it was certainly never used as such. Its generous proportions and the subject matter of the design are taken from the celebrated Hispano-Moresque ship bowls of 14th-century Malaga. these ship bowls are among the most prized of ceramics of collectors and museums. De Morgan's ceramics were also lovingly collected by admirers and this bowl would have been a prized possession.

William De Morgan (1839-1917) was a close friend of William Morris (1834-1896)and the two collected ceramics, textiles and other art works from Persia (modern-day Iran), Turkey and China, all of which influenced their own designs. The Reverend Stopford Brooke was clearly an admirer of De Morgan's work. His daughter, who presented this bowl in his memory, invited the Museum's Bernard Rackham, Keeper of Ceramics, to choose from 'many of the most beautiful pieces' in her father's collection. It was painted by Frederick Passenger who, with his brother Charles, was De Morgan's most talented decorator.

Physical description

Bowl, earthenware, painted in colours, 46 cm diam., 15.5 cm deep. Marks: "F.P." painted in black. This substantial bowl, painted in deep turquoise blues and purples, is an example of De Morgan's "Persian" wares. Described as a punch bowl, in both its generous proportions and the subject of the decoration-fantastic ships were one of his favourite subjects-it refers most closely to the celebrated Hispano-Moresque "ship bowls" of Malaga.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1900 (made)


William De Morgan, born 1839 - died 1917 (designer)
Passenger, Fred (painter (artist))
William De Morgan - Merton Abbey Factory (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Earthenware, painted

Marks and inscriptions

Maker's identification; on the base; painted; paint


Height: 15.5 cm, Diameter: 46 cm

Object history note

Designed by William De Morgan (born in London, 1839, died there in 1917); made at the De Morgan pottery, Sands End, Fulham, London; painted by Frederick Passenger (probably working 1898-1907)

Descriptive line

Bowl, earthenware, decorated with the image of a ship, painted in colours, designed by William Frend De Morgan, made at the De Morgan Pottery, Merton Abbey, painted by Fred Passenger, England, ca. 1885

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

Baker, Malcolm, and Brenda Richardson (eds.), A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 1999.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This bowl was designed by De Morgan whose inspiration were the 14th-century Moorish (Islamic) 'ship bowls' made in Malaga in southern Spain. Fred Passenger, the painter of this piece, was responsible for the decoration of a wide range of De Morgan's pottery displayed at Arts and Crafts exhibitions between 1888 and 1899. [27/03/2003]
Fred Passenger, William de Morgan, England,

C.78-1923 Given by Miss Evelyn Brooke in memory of her father, the Rev.S.Brooke [23/05/2008]

Subjects depicted

Ships; Boats; Sails; Waves; Flags


Ceramics; Earthenware; Tableware & cutlery; Drinking


Ceramics Collection

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