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William De Morgan



William De Morgan
London 1839 – London 1917






Glazed earthenware, lustre decoration


4.9 cm (h.), 26.5 cm (diam.)


Decoration painted by Charles Passenger (active with William De Morgan between 1877 and 1907)


Gift of Graham Drinkwater, inv. 1921.Dp.4


Decorative Arts and Design

William De Morgan embodies the British Arts and Crafts Movement’s ideal of the decorative artist who both designs and handcrafts his works. He was a friend of William Morris, the movement’s main proponent, to whom he supplied tiles and pottery wares. He conducted many experiments to perfect his ceramics, and was especially inspired by the techniques, colours and decoration of Islamic pottery. Although hand-decorated tiles were his firm’s mainstay, De Morgan was also known for his lustreware. The lustre technique, invented in the Middle East, involves covering earthenware with a metallic lustre to impart an iridescent finish to the glazed surface. This dish, with the rich palette of reds and brown enhanced by the application of copper and silver lustre, is an excellent example.

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