The Old Connection—II: Framing a Set of William DeMorgan Tiles

My last post was about framing a set of three identical American Arts and Crafts tiles dating from about 1908, and made by AE Baggs of Marblehead Pottery. Sketch--carving designThis is a set of six tiles, each one 6″ x 6″, by one of the great English Arts and Crafts ceramicists, William De Morgan (1839-1917). The outside dimensions of the mortise and tenon frame are 9″ x 42″. The members are 1-1/2″ wide on the top and bottom, with 3″ sides. The frame’s made in stained quartersawn white oak.

Like the Baggs frame, Trevor and I collaborated on this one. He built it and I carved it. The carving carries out the repeat pattern. That’s my design at right. I let the tip of the leaf on the left side poke out beyond the edge of the frame.

Framed William DeMorgan tiles

Evelyn & William De Morgan

Evelyn & William De Morgan

De Morgan was married to the wonderful Pre-Raphaelite painter Evelyn De Morgan, and was a close friend and collaborator of William Morris’s, designing tiles as well as stained glass and furniture for Morris & Co. It was a circle steeped in and devoted to the notion that architecture was the mother of all the arts, and the product of the cooperation of those arts. As with the Marblehead set, this framing was executed in that spirit.

It’s destined to hang in a suitably significant architectural location: over my customer’s fireplace in her beautiful Arts and Crafts home.Framed William DeMorgan tiles



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