William De Morgan, the renowned Arts & Crafts ceramicist, first began to make red lustre tiles during his Chelsea period from 1872-1881. The series included fantastic ships, birds, beasts, and flowers and quickly became very popular. The tiles were used in bathrooms, halls and around fireplaces. De Morgan’s friend, the writer Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), commissioned several of these tiles for the common room and for his own room at Oxford.
Whilst the firm bought blank vases, dishes etc. from Wedgwood and other manufacturers to be decorated with his designs, De Morgan soon came to develop his own tiles, which were more moisture resistant and more accommodating to his glazes and transfer methods. The tile pictured above, depicting a fearsome eagle and snake, is one of a group of tiles and ceramics by William de Morgan that were offered at Lyon & Turnbull on 23 October 2019.
AUCTION | Decorative Arts: Design since 1860 | Wed 23rd October at 10am
LOCATION | 33 Broughton Place, Edinburgh