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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 54

Tile

ca. 1694 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Object Type
Painted tin-glazed earthenware tiles were produced in vast quantities in The Netherlands in the 17th and 18th centuries. This example, however, is exceptional, both in terms of its large size and the quality of its decoration. It was one of a group produced for Mary II (ruled 1688-1694) by Adrianus Kocx's prestigious 'Greek A' factory in Delft. The tile is painted with a design probably by Daniel Marot (1661-1752), a Huguenot (French Protestant) emigré. Panels formed from four tiles were probably used to flank a doorway or fireplace.

Place
The Water Gallery was a Tudor building at Hampton Court near London that had been remodelled in contemporary style by Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723). The travel writer Celia Fiennes (1662-1741), who visited it soon after 1694, said that the Queen took great delight in it. The Gallery 'opened into a balcony on to the water and was decked with china and fine pictures'. According to the writer and journalist Daniel Defoe (1660-1731), there was also a 'dairy, with all its conveniences, in which the Queen took great delight'. At the Water Gallery, Mary indulged her passion for delftware, which was presumably in part displayed in the 'Delft-Ware Closett' named in the building accounts. This tile was among the delftware supplied for Hampton Court, and was probably installed in the dairy or in one of the Queen's closets in the Water Gallery.

Subject Matter and Style
The design of the tile combines Classical motifs with Baroque exuberance. The essentially symmetrical structure of the strapwork restrains the more dynamic features such as the curling acanthus leaves and the figures of the drummer and trumpeter. Designs for William III (ruled 1688-1702) and Mary frequently included their initials, and here the 'WM' device is incorporated into the trumpeter's flag.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Tin-glazed earthenware, painted in blue
Brief description
Tile, 'Greek A' factory; earthenware, Delft, Netherlands; ca.1694.
Physical description
Tile, 'Greek A' factory; earthenware,
Dimensions
  • Height: 61cm
  • Width: 61cm
  • Estimated depth: 2.8cm
Dimensions checked: measured; 21/01/1999 by TB display dims for existing frame
Marks and inscriptions
Inscribed with AK in blue for Adrianus Kocx (died in Delft, The Netherlands, 1701)
Gallery label
British Galleries: DELFTWARE FROM HAMPTON COURT
Queen Mary's Water Gallery at Hampton Court was furnished to designs by Daniel Marot (1661-1752). The delftware closet was hung with panels four tiles high and the Dairy equipped with milk pans. The tiles celebrate military success. Here, the soldier's flag bears the royal monogram WM. A companion tile shows William III on horseback. The tiles share the decorative framework of acanthus and strapwork. The milk pans are decorated with pastoral landscapes based on contemporary prints.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Probably made to decorate Queen Mary II's apartments in the Water Gallery at Hampton Court. Probably after a design by Daniel Marot (born in Paris, 1661, died in The Hague, The Netherlands, 1752)

Made in Delft, The Netherlands
Subjects depicted
Summary
Object Type
Painted tin-glazed earthenware tiles were produced in vast quantities in The Netherlands in the 17th and 18th centuries. This example, however, is exceptional, both in terms of its large size and the quality of its decoration. It was one of a group produced for Mary II (ruled 1688-1694) by Adrianus Kocx's prestigious 'Greek A' factory in Delft. The tile is painted with a design probably by Daniel Marot (1661-1752), a Huguenot (French Protestant) emigré. Panels formed from four tiles were probably used to flank a doorway or fireplace.

Place
The Water Gallery was a Tudor building at Hampton Court near London that had been remodelled in contemporary style by Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723). The travel writer Celia Fiennes (1662-1741), who visited it soon after 1694, said that the Queen took great delight in it. The Gallery 'opened into a balcony on to the water and was decked with china and fine pictures'. According to the writer and journalist Daniel Defoe (1660-1731), there was also a 'dairy, with all its conveniences, in which the Queen took great delight'. At the Water Gallery, Mary indulged her passion for delftware, which was presumably in part displayed in the 'Delft-Ware Closett' named in the building accounts. This tile was among the delftware supplied for Hampton Court, and was probably installed in the dairy or in one of the Queen's closets in the Water Gallery.

Subject Matter and Style
The design of the tile combines Classical motifs with Baroque exuberance. The essentially symmetrical structure of the strapwork restrains the more dynamic features such as the curling acanthus leaves and the figures of the drummer and trumpeter. Designs for William III (ruled 1688-1702) and Mary frequently included their initials, and here the 'WM' device is incorporated into the trumpeter's flag.
Bibliographic reference
Doran, Susan. Royal River. Power Pageantry and the Thames. London: Scala Publishers Ltd. 2012. 75p, ill. cat. no. 43. ISBN 978-1-85759-700-4
Collection
Accession number
C.13-1956

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Record createdJanuary 8, 2003
Record URL
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