Not currently on display at the V&A

Tile

ca.1964 (made), ca.1964 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This tile was one of hundreds of products produced in the early 1960s illustrated with images of the Liverpool group The Beatles. Its lead guitarist George Harrison (1943-2001) was instrumental in creating what is known as The Beatles' sound. His discovery of the Indian instrument the sitar led to an expansion in The Beatles' musical repertoire, and he encouraged the others to explore their spirituality and transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, later immortalised in John Lennon's song 'Sexy Sadie'. After the The Beatles split up in 1970, George was the first to enjoy commercial and critical acclaim as a solo artist with his album All Things Must Pass. He tragically died of cancer at the age of fifty-eight and his life was celebrated in a Royal Albert Hall concert in 2002, put together by his long-time friend and fellow guitarist Eric Clapton.

The earliest examples of Beatles' merchandising were produced in the United States, after the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein sold licensing rights to Seltaeb, the American company whose name spelt Beatles backwards. After a flood of successful Beatles items from stockings to talcum powder, Epstein realised the lucrative potential of the market and kept firm control of all future licensing. This tile is one of a set of five produced in England, one representing each individual band member and one showing the group.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Glazed earthenware
Brief description
Glazed earthenware tile decorated by Dorincourt Potters with an image of The Beatles' George Harrison (1943-2001), English, ca.1964
Physical description
Rectangular earthenware tile, glazed recto and printed with an under-glaze transfer print of George Harrison, originally from a painting. With George Harrison's autograph below the image, lower left hand corner, and the artist's monogram 'IW' bottom right.
Dimensions
  • Height: 15.2cm
  • Width: 15.2cm
Marks and inscriptions
  • These tiles are produced by kind permission of "The Beatles" Dorincourt Potters, Oaklawn Rd., Leatherhead Sheltered Industry (In black lettering, verso)
  • CARTER TILES MADE IN ENGLAND (In relief letters, verso.)
  • Monogram, possibly IW (Recto, bottom right)
Object history
Historical significance: These tiles would have been issued circa 1964, at the height of the craze for The Beatles.
Production
The tiles were made by Carter Tiles and decorated by Dorincourt Pottery. Dorincourt Industries was a charity working with disabled people and had a range of services, much of it with a graphic arts association. In about 1999 a new company was formed, Dorincourt Lion Litho, with 15% of all future profits going to the Queen Elizabeth Foundation for the disabled. otters.
Subject depicted
Association
Summary
This tile was one of hundreds of products produced in the early 1960s illustrated with images of the Liverpool group The Beatles. Its lead guitarist George Harrison (1943-2001) was instrumental in creating what is known as The Beatles' sound. His discovery of the Indian instrument the sitar led to an expansion in The Beatles' musical repertoire, and he encouraged the others to explore their spirituality and transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, later immortalised in John Lennon's song 'Sexy Sadie'. After the The Beatles split up in 1970, George was the first to enjoy commercial and critical acclaim as a solo artist with his album All Things Must Pass. He tragically died of cancer at the age of fifty-eight and his life was celebrated in a Royal Albert Hall concert in 2002, put together by his long-time friend and fellow guitarist Eric Clapton.

The earliest examples of Beatles' merchandising were produced in the United States, after the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein sold licensing rights to Seltaeb, the American company whose name spelt Beatles backwards. After a flood of successful Beatles items from stockings to talcum powder, Epstein realised the lucrative potential of the market and kept firm control of all future licensing. This tile is one of a set of five produced in England, one representing each individual band member and one showing the group.
Associated objects
Collection
Accession number
S.51-2005

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Record createdApril 14, 2005
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