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Arts & Crafts Floral Tile


• Condition: Near perfect
• Price: £180 (approx $295)
• Ref: #03114D

UK Special Delivery £190

EU Airsure £194

US and World Airsure £198

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One very tiny chip bottom edge, perfect printing and colouring and the most brilliant glaze.


 

• Style: Arts & crafts
• Technique: Print & tint
• Manufacturer: T G & F Booth
• Dimensions: 6" x 6"
• Date: 1890 (circa)

 

A fabulous arts & crafts movement style tile the design of interweaving floral style with bold flowerheads and leaves arranged in a near quartered arrangement akin to the Longden genre. The print is soft and not obviously a print more like a painted outline, the painting is precise and bright yet has a wonderful soft 'texture' particularly on the foliage.

This design is probably a copy of an earlier design, William de Morgan also copied the earlier design, or so it would appear. De Morgan produced a popular pattern known as K L Rose which originally was truly executed but soon afterwards was bastardised producing an unbalanced and flawed design. Despite this it was still very popular reflecting on both the marketing (in Morris & Co's catalogue the original untainted version is shown) and the taste of the buyers, or the subjectivity of the buyers to marketing for it is indeed poor design. I can think of no other reason that de Morgan would spoil a great design and produce a flawed one in its place other than that he copied the original and got caught out for it.

This tile is super quality throughout, well printed and painted in glorious colours and with Booth's super brilliant glaze.Well up there with and indeed better than many of the run of the mill de Morgan tiles which still sell for many hundreds of pounds (far too much).

Verso very clean, generic grid, unmarked.

 

William de Morgan & Co's version is known as the K L Rose. This is the later version, the earlier correct version is very scarce. It was made in two (handed) versions.

Owners of 'William de Morgan Tiles' by John Catleugh can see on page 41 the catalogue distributed by Morris & Co. There the design can be seen as originally intended with the leaves and stems flowing in the correct manner and the flowers rather more full on.

The major error introduced is the stem on the left, clearly out of place being an incongruous almost straight line amidst a pattern full of movement. The earlier version has the leaf going right to the edge and the stem approaching the flower from bottom middle as it should. The downgrading of the design would have been sufficient to avoid copyright issues and perhaps placate the originator.

Generally inferior including in colours for which de Morgan was most famous (although to give it/him its due this tile was a decade or more older than the Booth's tile) on the usual not quite square biscuit.

This was the first de Morgan tile that I ever owned, I eventually sold it several years ago (for more than double today's asking price for the Booth example) and bought several far superior tiles with the proceeds :-)

 


 

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