Peacock Tile, 1898–1907
In 1860s Great Britain, the decorative tile became a popular medium found on fireplaces, walls, baths, and other surfaces of middle-class homes. William de Morgan and his contemporaries in the Arts and Crafts movement wanted to replace industrialized, mass-produced, and often shoddy objects with hand-crafted, high-quality pieces. In 1872, de Morgan opened his first tile workshop, moving to Sand's End, Fulham, in 1888, where he remained until leaving the business in 1907. During that time, he created more than 300 designs and helped to revive the 500-year-old lustreware style that lends a golden shine to a lead-glazed pot. His inspirations ranged from fifteenth-century Turkish and Italian ceramics to medieval manuscripts. This tile features a favorite motif of de Morgan, the fantastical peacock. Peacock tiles in monochrome against a solid ground, like this example, were usually blue or green, brush-painted, and more heavily modeled than polychrome versions. This tile is from his later period when he was in a partnership with Frank Iles, who worked in firings, and brothers Charles and Fred Passenger, who executed de Morgan’s decorations. Impressed with the mark DIP, it notes all four partners’ contributions.
It is credited
Museum purchase through gift of Georgiana L. McClellan.
Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 1.3 x 15.4 x 15.2cm (1/2 x 6 1/16 x 6in.)
It has the following markings
Impressed on underside: "DIP"
Cite this object as
Peacock Tile, 1898–1907; England; glazed earthenware; H x W x D: 1.3 x 15.4 x 15.2cm (1/2 x 6 1/16 x 6in.); Museum purchase through gift of Georgiana L. McClellan; 1953-104-1