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  • Place of origin:

    Shropshire (made)

  • Date:

    1889 (designed)
    1890-1901 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Crane, Walter R.W.S., born 1845 - died 1915 (designer)
    Maw & Co. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Earthenware, painted with lustred colours

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

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

Object Type
This vase is more a sculpture than a practical flower holder and is decorated with Maw's lustred red glaze which was developed for tile painting.The Shropshire pottery, Maw & Co.of Jackfield, is best known for tiles and moulded, architectural ceramics of which it was one of the world's largest producers. This vase was made in the same factory, under the same industrial conditions.

Design & Designing
Walter Crane (1845-1915) trained as a wood-engraver and worked as a painter and illustrator. He designed tile patterns for Maw from 1874 and was commissioned to design a series of vases in about 1889. These demonstrate Crane's interest in all historical forms and decoration, especially those of classical antiquity and of the Islamic world. This swan-shaped vase has powerfully-designed painted decoration with Neo-classical overtones typical of Crane's graphic work. His monogram is equally decorative, incorporating a standing crane. Crane also designed tiles and decorative wares for Pilkington and Wedgwood.

Physical description

The body is in the form of a swan.

Place of Origin

Shropshire (made)


1889 (designed)
1890-1901 (made)


Crane, Walter R.W.S., born 1845 - died 1915 (designer)
Maw & Co. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Earthenware, painted with lustred colours


Height: 22.6 cm, Width: 24 cm

Object history note

Designed by Walter Crane (born in Liverpool, 1845, died in Horsham, West Sussex, 1915); made by Maw & Co., Jackfield, Shropshire

Descriptive line

Vase in the form of a swan, with lustre decoration. English, designed ca.1889 by Walter Crane and manufactured by Maw & Co.

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

Greenhalgh, Paul (Ed.), Art Nouveau: 1890-1914 . London: V&A Publications, 2000
Lovett, Gina.The Perfect Place to Grow: 175 Years of the Royal College of Art. London: Royal College of Art, 2012. ISBN978-1-907342-51-6
Jervis, Simon, Victorian and Edwardian decorative art: the Handley-Read collection, London, Royal Academy of Arts, 1972

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Walter Crane first started designing tiles for the manufacturer, Maw & Co., in 1874 and worked with their art pottery studio. This vase is highly unusual both in its shape and decoration. Like many Arts and Crafts designers, Crane was prepared to step outside the usual bounds of conventional form and manufacture to achieve new effects. [27/03/2003]
made by Maw & Co. (Ltd), Benthall Works, Jackfield, Shropshire, England,

Circ.313-1953 [23/05/2008]


Earthenware; Lustre (ceramics decoration)

Subjects depicted

Swan (animal); Dog; Nude; Fish


Images Online; Ceramics; Vases; Earthenware; British Galleries


Ceramics Collection

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