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Never stoop to the ignominy of a paper dado*... it will be understood from this that Morris & Company do not print distinctive frieze-patterns. ~William Morris
Morris himself preferred tapestry wallcoverings and disliked the popular Victorian style of layering wallpapered walls with dadoes* and friezes in living areas, but Morris & Co. made and sold border and backsplash tiles for Victorian washbasins as well as in Morris's own Red House Porch Tiles and Philip Webb birds.
*the lower part of the wall of a room, below about waist height, if it is a different color or has a different covering than the upper part.
These are 6 inch tiles, with a subway tile background.
Accent tiles used in this bath were selected from:
Poppies are available in salmon, yellow, blue, and tangerine .
These are large tiles, 8 inches! The rest of the bath is warm grays and creamy whites, with William Morris Willow Bough curtains.
Accent tiles used in this bath were selected from:
Woodland Weeds is also available with black and Webb Blue (cobalt) backgrounds.
These are small tiles, 4.25 inches but really stand out against the field tile.
There are three hares and three harebells in the set:
This bath uses William De Morgan blue and white tiles, the Ships & Galleons and the Fantastic Birds & Beasts, as accent tiles, with a gray-green subway tile.
Accent tiles were used in this bath were selected from:
I've added several more ships and fantastic creatures since.
Membland accent tiles. This is a great way to use Membland, when there is not room for a backsplash or the full mural.
Membland was a collaboration between William Morris and William De Morgan. It is also available as:
a full mural,
fireplace tiles, and
as well as accent tiles.
The evolution of the tile-making process for Membland itself is also quite interesting.
The Carta Marina sea monster map shown here is 4 feet by 3 feet. Individual monsters were made larger on individual accent tiles and these placed on the adjoining walls in this many-angled Victorian bath. The blue color is truer in the accent tiles; the mural was taken in lower light to offset the glare.
The Carta Marina was created in Rome between 1527-1539 by Olaus Magnus of Sweden. From the 17th through most of the 19th century, its existence was widely considered a rumor. In 1886, the news of a remaining copy found in Munich spread quickly through Europe. More information and closeups: Carta Marina Tiles.
These De Morgan fish are installed in a Carlisle, Massachusetts bath. These fish are available in two variations: The base pattern and extended set for an infinite repeat.
In the installation photo, the customer chose to use the base pattern, with panels reversed for symmetry. The seamless verision allows an infinite repeat without reversing. William De Morgan Fish Tiles.
This Mermaid backsplash in Bronx, New York, shows the mermaid backsplash in a darker blue for this installation. A custom matching panel was made for the adjacent wall behind the sink. The mermaid mural consists of 48 4.25 inch tiles. Smaller sizes are available. Mermaid backsplashes and mural.
The Fantastic Bird shower, installed in Northampton, Mass., was designed by E. Stuart Giles III. The facing William De Morgan Fantastic Birds are large: three eight-inch tiles per panel.
The turquoise, and amethyst and lapis De Morgan fish are at home in The Bronx, New York. The tiles are 4.25 inch and repeat indefinitely. I have several De Morgan fish designs available.
Bird and Trellis was inspired by the birds Morris watched darting in and out of the trellis in his Red House garden. This is Bird and Trellis shower mural is installed in Vancouver, British Columbia. I have several color variations of Bird and Trellis. The pattern repeats seamlessly on both the horizontal and vertical. Bird and Trellis.
These tiles are installed in a guest shower in Prairie Village, Kansas. The Tulip Vine (Medway) tiles shown here were made a deeper blue than the Victorian blue I originally made. Medway (tulip vine) tiles
These Briar Rose Tiles are installed in a home in Chicago. Through the owner, curator of the Glessner House museum in Chicago, I learned that historic homes are no accident; John Glessner wrote an enchanting story about the constructon,furnishing and decoration of Glessner House. Like Red House, Glessner House is an intentionally unconventional home born of dynamic relationship between architect and owners. The decorative arts need not be an afterthought. If you have a restoration project, or are just interested in cultural heritage homes, you will like this interview that covers not only the design, but restoration, including its William Morris "Kennet" draperies and portieres. More about Glessner House Museum
Ships (and fish) are the most popular De Morgan tiles I have. The shower installation at left is in a home in Carlisle, MA.
The ship bath is in Bethesday, MD.
De Morgan made 18 ship designs, of which there are many variations.
You can see close-up daylight photos of all my De Morgan Ship Photos.
Copyright information: Images of tile products on this website are ©William Morris Tile, LLC. They are derivative works requiring considerable creative effort. You are welcome to use the images, with attribution, for any non non-commercial purpose, including displaying them on your blog or personal website. You may not use them for any commercial purpose without written permission, including but not limited to creating counted cross-stitch patterns, calendars, or any other commercial purpose. Contact me for images.