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Tile with ‘Clyde’ daisy design (2): EC.7-1941

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Tile with ‘Clyde’ daisy design (2)


Maker: William De Morgan & Co.
Designer: De Morgan, William Frend




Square, buff, earthenware tile, covered in cream slip, decorated with transfer pattern in blue-black, purple-brown, yellow and shades of green, and glazed. An all-over naturalistic pattern of green leaves, with a diagonal leading stem and four yellow petal, purple-brown centre, daisies. Two of the daisies are shown from the side, with petals bent back. The design is outlined in blue-black, which has smudged in places; the resulting blurred effect is enhanced by a somewhat heavy clear glaze. The tile is thick and the earthenware coarse. There are wide stripes of glaze across the back.


History note: Given by Mr H C Mossop, 1941

Legal notes

Given by Mr H C Mossop, 1941

Measurements and weight

Width: 20.4 cm
Width: 8 in

Place(s) associated

  • Merton Abbey ⪼ London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1941-03-26) by Mossop, H. C.


19th Century, Late#
1882 CE - 1888 CE


This tile dates from 1882-88, when De Morgan’s workshop was at Merton Abbey, next door to Morris’s factory. The coarse earthenware and rough sides indicate that the tile was intended for a fireplace or other architectural use. The flowing naturalism suggests it is an early design, perhaps influenced by Morris’s work; De Morgan’s later tile designs were more stylised and symmetrical. He made many, many designs for tiles and tile panels – some 820, including this one, are in the V&A collection – and transferred them using his own innovative transfer method which allowed repeats to be made whilst preserving a ‘hand-made’ quality. There are two tiles of this design in the Fitzwilliam collection, which illustrate the experimental nature of De Morgan’s work. Here the transfer design has blurred; it has been more successfully applied on the other example (C.8-1941).

William Frend De Morgan (1839-1917), now widely regarded as the most important ceramicist of the Arts & Crafts movement, also worked in stained glass and became a successful novelist. The son of a non-conformist mathematics professor, he became a close friend of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones and married the Pre-Raphaelite painter Evelyn Pickering (1855-1919), in 1887. As a ceramicist, De Morgan was primarily a designer/decorator and chemist, working on bought-in blanks or pots thrown to his design. He experimented widely with techniques and glazes, re-discovering methods for making and applying lustres and the colours of Iznik and Persian pottery and using them for a range of complex fantasy designs featuring ships, birds, flora and animals. This tile has been produced using De Morgan’s invention of tracing and painting the design onto paper which burned away in the kiln, leaving the design fixed under the glaze.

School or Style

Arts and Crafts (movement)

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work


Materials used in production

Clear glaze

Techniques used in production

Slip-coating : Buff coloured earthenware, slip-coated, decorated with polychrome transfer pattern and glazed

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Large, square, one ‘M’ serving both parts and a drawing of an abbey church

  • Text: W DE M Merton Abbey
  • Location: On reverse
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: EC.7-1941
Primary reference Number: 15325
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Tile with ‘Clyde’ daisy design (2)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-20 12:57:31

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