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Sancta Cecilia: C.2-1922

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Sancta Cecilia


Factory: Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.
Painter: Faulkner, Kate
Designer: Burne-Jones, Edward




Circular tile. Buff earthenware, slip-coated, glazed and painted in blue, yellow, sage green, flesh-pink and black enamel colours. A head and shoulders painted portrait of a woman, drawn in black, set on a deep blue ground. Her long, wavy, blonde hair is tucked behind her ear and she wears a green cap and gown. She holds a scroll of music in her right hand. Around her head is an elaborate halo, inscribed 'SANCTA CECILIA'. The glaze is dull, the sides of the tile are unglazed and the back is flat and rough.
Cut down 6 inch tile.


History note: Ernest Barnsley (1863-1926), by whom given

Legal notes

Given by Ernest Barnsley

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 15.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Bloomsbury ⪼ London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1922-10-01) by Barnsley, Edward


19th century
Production date: circa AD 1865


Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) adapted the design for this roundel from his series representing the heads of Chaucer and six of the author’s 'Goode Wimmen'; four of these drawings are in the collection of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. It was not unusual for designs to be adapted for different commissions, and Burne-Jones also used this series in designing an embroidered frieze and stained glass roundels. Saint Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians and Church music, and it has been suggested that her features here bear a marked resemblance to those of Morris’s wife, Jane. Tradition has it that this tile and that of Penelope (C.3-1922), were painted by the Kate Faulkner (d. 1895), who worked for William Morris and others as a painter and designer, as did her sister Lucy (see Robinson). Their brother Charles Faulkner (1833–92) was a partner of Morris and Burne-Jones in the firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co from 1861-74, though not actively involved after he returned to academic life in 1864.

The tiles were given by the Arts & Crafts furniture maker Edward Barnsley (1900-1987).

School or Style

Arts and Crafts (movement)

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels clear glaze

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On elaborate halo
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Title

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2-1922
Primary reference Number: 15389
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 6 August 2020 Last processed: Thursday 22 July 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Sancta Cecilia" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-02-05 21:49:05

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{{cite web|url= |title=Sancta Cecilia |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-02-05 21:49:05|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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