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Tile panel

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1876 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Morris, William, born 1834 - died 1896 (designer)
    William De Morgan, born 1839 - died 1917 (maker)
    Architectural Pottery Co. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Slip-covered and hand-painted in various colours and glazed, on earthenware blanks

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr and Mrs Charles Handley-Read

  • Museum number:

    C.36-1972

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 144, The Headley Trust Gallery, case WS

The architect of Membland Hall in Devon commissioned this sumptuous design for bathroom tiles from William Morris (1834-1896). Morris had the tiles painted in the studios of William de Morgan (1839-1917). They represent a rare collaboration between these two creative geniuses.

Edward Charles Baring, 1st Baron Revelstoke, was the builder of Membland Hall. He was a merchant banker. The hall was later demolished.

Physical description

Panel depicting scolling arcanthus leaves on a black background

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1876 (made)

Artist/maker

Morris, William, born 1834 - died 1896 (designer)
William De Morgan, born 1839 - died 1917 (maker)
Architectural Pottery Co. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Slip-covered and hand-painted in various colours and glazed, on earthenware blanks

Dimensions

Height: 1600 mm, Width: 915 mm

Object history note

This panel is one of six surviviing from Membland Hall which was demolished in 1928. Morris & Co. were commissioned to decorate Membland Hall in Devon, by George Devey, architect to the banker E.C. Baring, Baron Revelstoke. The squared up pattern and one other panel is at the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow, with a note indicating that it was intended for the bathroom.

Historical significance: It is the only floral pattern for a tile panel on this scale by Morris. Presumably its ambitious size (of sixty-six individual tiles) and the need to produce a matching set suggested that he should turn to the better equipped De Morgan fo its production. The design remained on Morris & Co.'s stocklists until 1912-13 and a number of panels, other than the Membland six, are known to have been made. At least one uses De Morgan's own Fulham Pottery tiles. Far less particular than Morris, De Morgan supplemented his own production by using the Hamworthy tileworks (and other commercial manufacturers in Staffordshire and Shropshire) and the Carter & Co. pottery, also at Poole, to supply blanks for his own lustre- and colour-glaze wares.

Descriptive line

Tile panel, made up of 66 individual tiles, hand painted with a pattern of flowers and foliage. English, 1876.

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

Parry, Linda (ed.). William Morris. London : Philip Wilson / Victoria and Abert Museum, 1996, p193.
Hildyard, Robin. European Ceramics. London : V&A Publications, 1999. 144 p., ill. ISBN 185177260X
Design Cities: 1851-2008. London: Design Museum, 2008, P.16-17 ill., p.138.

Production Note

The blank tiles were bought in by De Morgan, from the Architectural Pottery, Poole, Dorset, and decorated at his Fulham factory.

Materials

Earthenware

Techniques

Painting (image-making); Glazing (coating)

Subjects depicted

Leaves (plant materials); Flowers (plants)

Categories

Ceramics; Art Pottery

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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