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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1863 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Kate Greenaway, born 1846 - died 1901 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bodycolour on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case T, shelf 30

Object Type
This design is one of a group of six similar designs for tiles in different colours. Each design has a tiny printed monogram depicting an arrangement of the letters 'NAL' within a circle. The monogram is in the bottom right corner. It is a collection mark for the National Art Library, to which this design belonged before transfer to what is now the V&A's Department of Prints, Drawings and Paintings. The National Art Library collected drawings for the applied arts from 1852. This example was bought to be used as a teaching aid by the School of Design (now the Royal College of Art).

Design & Designing
This design is in an opaque water-soluble pigment known as bodycolour, which is similar to the strong, colourful glazes on 19th-century tiles. This design is painted on a hexagon so that the tile, for which it is intended, could form part of an interlocking pattern on a floor or wall.

In the 19th century new technology made possible the mass production of tiles. In the latter part of the century this productive capacity was matched by high demand, caused by a building boom.

Physical description

Design for a hexagonal tile.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1863 (made)


Kate Greenaway, born 1846 - died 1901 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Bodycolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

A label on the back of the mount is printed 'Examined 1863' and signed


Height: 22.6 cm mount, Width: 21.4 cm mount

Object history note

By Kate Greenaway (born in London, 1846, died there in 1901)

Descriptive line

Tile Design by Kate Greenaway, 1863

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This design won a prize for Kate Greenaway in the first year of the National Competition, established in 1863. The competition provided funds for 15 students annually to study at the National Art Training School at South Kensington. Kate Greenaway later became most famous for her illustrations for children's books. [27/03/2003]


Designs; Tiles


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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