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Tile with ‘raised lion’ design: EC.10-1941

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Tile with ‘raised lion’ design


Maker: William De Morgan & Co.
Maker: Ricardo, Halsey ((possibly))
Designer: De Morgan, William Frend




Relief moulded earthenware tile, thinly coated in ochre-tinged slip, painted in under-glaze blue, glazed and lustred. The ground is quartered blue and ochre, the colours separated by a thin line of bronze lustre. Across the surface are two rampant lions, in relief, the male above and facing right, the female below and facing left. The lions are painted with gold lustre, which has run down into the crevices, enhancing the modelling. The sides and reverse are neatly finished, but unglazed.


History note: Given by Mr H.C. Mossop

Legal notes

Given by Mr H C Mossop

Measurements and weight

Square: 15.25 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Fulham ⪼ London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


19th Century, Late#
Production date: AD 1898


This design dates from 1972-81, when De Morgan first produced lustreware in Chelsea. Other examples of the tile with the design in relief have been identified from the period between 1888-1898, when he worked in partnership with the architect Halsey Ricardo, at Sands End, Fulham. The mark on this tile indicates that it dates from 1898, so it may also have been made there, or during De Morgan’s subsequent partnership with his kiln-master Frank Iles and the brothers Charles and Fred Passenger (1898-1907). Ricardo (1854-1928) was particularly interested in the use of glazed materials on buildings, to resist the pollution of 19th century London; he also made a number of designs for relief tiles, so may have had a hand in producing this design in relief. Some 820 De Morgan tile designs, including a few by Ricardo, are in the V&A collection, which also holds a version of this tile with a thinly-painted blue background and raised green lions.

Victoria and Albert Museum: E.1074-1917, box C.145, numbered 174 (drawing in blue); C.221-1976 (tile).

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.

School or Style

Arts and Crafts (movement)

Components of the work


Materials used in production

coarse, buff-coloured Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Moulding in relief : Earthenware, moulded in relief, slip-coated and decorated with a traced-transfer design, glazed, and painted with lustre

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: circular seal

  • Text: DM/98
  • Location: On the back
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: torn adhesive retailer's label, fragment reads in print round circumference of circle '...ORGE ST. HAN..' and inscribed in ink in centre is '309 7/6'

  • Text: ...ORGE ST. HAN...
  • Location: Attached to front of tile
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: EC.10-1941
Primary reference Number: 15364
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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