William de Morgan (1839-1917)
Earthenware painted in ruby and yellow lustres
Museum no. 832-1905
This dish is one of the most celebrated of de Morgan's ceramics. Like all of his production other than tiles, it was made for show rather than for use. Although de Morgan returned to this image many times, and the dish itself was made in Staffordshire, it is a unique work. He bought the dish in as a blank and it was decorated and then re-fired at his own workshop. The plain, rimless shape was especially suitable for elaborate pictorial decoration such as this.
William de Morgan was a friend of William Morris, and designed stained glass and tiles for Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. By 1873 he was running his own successful business.