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Tile panel with blue peacocks: C.1-1976

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Tile panel with blue peacocks


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




Panel of eight large central tiles surrounded by a border of twelve rectangular tiles and four corner tiles. Earthenware, slip-coated, trace-transfered in 'Persian' colours, and clear-glazed. The central panel, painted in blue, turquoise-blue, green, yellow,pale orange, and brown on a white ground, shows two facing peacocks amid foliage, bordered above and below by fish swimming in a deep blue sea. The borders consist of Islamic, Persian style arches with fleur-de-lis and swirls, in light blue, dark blue and manganese red.


History note: Purchased from Michael Whiteway, London W8

Legal notes

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Measurements and weight

Length: 87.3 cm
Width: 51 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Fulham ⪼ London ⪼ England
  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1976-01-29) by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


19th Century, Late#
Circa 1888 CE - 1898 CE


De Morgan produced tiles and lustre-ware in Chelsea from 1872, and at Merton Abbey (next door to Morris’s factory) from 1882-8. From 1888-98 he set up at Sands End, Fulham, in partnership with the architect Halsey Ricardo (1854-1928), continuing from 1898-1907 with his kiln-master Frank Iles and decorators Charles and Fred Passenger as his partners. De Morgan made many, many designs for tiles and tile panels – some 820 are in the V&A collection. There exists a near-identical, though differently coloured, peacock panel, made at Sands End (see Greenwood). The same fish design and a different peacock scene were used, c.1904-1907, for the winter garden at 8 Addison Road, West London, a house designed by Halsey Ricardo for the retailer Sir Ernest Debenham.

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)

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Front composed of glaze ( clear)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Slip-coating : Earthenware, slip-coated, decorated with a traced-transfer design and clear-glazed

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1-1976
Primary reference Number: 15381
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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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Tile panel with blue peacocks" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-16 07:58:25

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