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Know Your Dragons:

Medieval and Bestiary Dragon Tiles

Other dragons: Ancient Dragons and Victorian and Folklore Dragons

Dragon tile backsplash

Dragon Tile Backsplash in
Washington, DC Victorian row house

We men dream dreams, we work magic, we do good, we do evil. The dragons do not dream. They are dreams. They do not work magic: it is their substance, their being. They do not do; they are. Ursula K. Le Guin

You might also be interested in The Installation of the Dragons.

About the Bestiary Dragons

Dragons exist in every culture and on six of the seven continents (that we know). The dragons in this tile set are medieval and bestiary dragons, with some overlap.

Two of my favorite bestiaries with dragons featured on this page:

The Bestiary of Anne Walshe: A Latin bestiary of English origin, this bestiary, or Book of Beasts was produced in the early 15th century, roughtly 1400-1425. Anne must have been a well-to-do young lady to have such a book made for her. Unlike most bestiaries of the time, it has no gold edges. Anne was clearly studying as she made her own notes on the pages of her bestiary, with some endearing misspellings. You will find her red dragon and cocktrice (only very tangentially a dragon) on this page.

Liber Floridus (Book of Flowers): The Liber Floridus is not a proper bestiary. It is a compendium from 192 other tracts that was compiled between 1090 and 1120 by Lambert of St. Omer. Most of the Liber Floridus dragons here are from the 1460 version. The Liber Floridus is not Lambert's only work, however, and you will find dragons attributed to him that are not Liber Floridus dragons.

Dragons have migrated as far as Japan, Norway, Tasmania, London, both coasts of Canada, Belgium, and throughout the United States. Each dragon is described, briefly, in the legend.

Other Dragons

Some dragons have moved, due to the sheer number of dragons:

Ancient and World dragons.

Post-Medieval and Victorian Dragons.

Medieval and Bestiary Dragons

Medieval dragons on marble tiles, part 1

    From top left:

  • Seven-headed dragon of the Apocalpyse, Basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria, 15th Century, Italy

  • Historia Plantarum dragon, first Latin translation, circa 1483

  • Harley Bestiary manuscript dragon

  • Early medieval dragon

  • Aberdeen bestiary Amphisbaena wearing pearls. Not a true dragon, the self-reflective AmphisbaenaIt has two heads. Anphivena can move in two directions. Twas spawned from the dripping blood of Medusa when Perseus, after beheading her, flew over the Libyan desert. Amphisbaena fans feature in the poetry of John Milton, Shelley, Tennyson, Houseman, and Alexander Pope and the writing of Pliny the Elder and Isidore of Seville. he amphisbaena has a twin head, that is one at the tail end as well, as though it were not enough for poison to be poured out of one mouth. ~Pliny the Elder

  • Single-horned unicorn, Meermano, Netherlands

  • Dragon kisses, Chantilly, Musée Condé

  • Ninth century Ludwig IX dragon

  • Hungry and remorseful dragons, c. 1000 A.D.

  • Liber Floridus dragon with tail ornament

  • Middle Wyvern

  • Three horned dragons, appearing to hitchhike

Medieval dragons on marble tiles, part 2

From top left:

  • Love's sweet kiss, French breviary 13th cent.

  • Early striped basilisk with the three controllers of the universe
  • 13th century red-headed bird-like dragons, Northern France

  • Liber Floridus dragon, with Noah's ark

  • Lambton Worm dragon

  • Two French Vouivres with rings of light and dark magick

  • Horus Deliciarum seven-headed dragon illustration the Revelation of St. John 1185 A.D.

  • Ninth century German dragon with spiral growth curve

  • Red dragon of Wales from the coat of arms of Henry VII

  • Later basilisk

  • Ten-horned Apocalypse Dragon from the Liber Floridus Medieval Encyclopedia 1090-1120 A.D.

  • Two red dragons from the bestiary of Ludwig III, 9th century

Medieval dragons on marble tiles, part 3

    From top left:

  • Lambert St. Omer dragon constellation with ursa major and minor

  • Red winged dragon from the Morgan library bestiary

  • Harley bestiary dragon, with human head

  • Early Striped Basilisk

  • Hugh de Fouillay dragon, 12th century, France

  • Anne Walsh wyvern

  • Ulisse Aldrovani dragon from Serpentum et Draconum, pub. 1640, Italian

  • Apocalypse dragon spewing water, from the Yates Thompson Apocalypse, Paris, c. 1370-c. 1390

  • Cockatrice, a dragon produced from a cock's egg with a deadly glance. Only a weasel can kill a cockatrice. Bestiary of Anne Walshe, 15th century

  • Franco-Flemish dragon, last quarter of 13th century; Dragon from Jacob van Mearlant bestiary, 14th century Flanders.

  • Seven-headed dragon of the Apocalpyse, Basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria, 15th Century, Italy

  • Dragon-eating dragon

Medieval dragons on marble tiles, part 4

From top left:

  • Medieval dragon with antlers and something growing out of hat

  • Shocked Wyvern
  • Dragon at lunch, Tudor bestiary, 1520

  • Dragon from the Bestiary of the young Anne Walshe, circa 1425

  • Liber Floridus, Dragon section title

  • Blue dragon with flourishes from Harley bestiary

  • Dancing dragon from Il Libri de Diavolo, Codex Gigas Eight Century

  • Three-headed dragon

  • "Amen" dragon from Book of Hours, Bruges, c. 1500, dragon vomiting fire into a spittoon

  • Cockatrice, Tudor Bestiary, 1520

  • Red dragon with stars

  • Single French Vouivre dragon, signature of Cranach the Elder 1514


Dragon Specifications

Title: Dragons

Tile: Tumbled Botticino marble

Size: 6 inch square tiles (15.4 cm)

Thickness: 3/8 inch (1 cm)

Weight: 22 ounces (.62 kg) each tile

*Also available in 4 inch tiles

Pricing

4-inch Dragons: $68

6-inch Dragons: $77

Prices do not include shipping costs.

Even More Dragons

Ancient and World Dragons

Due to overcrowding, Ancient and World dragons have moved to their own page: Ancient and World Dragons.

Post-Medieval Dragons

Post-medieval to Victorian Folklore Dragons have taken up residence on their own page: Post-Medieval to Victorian Folklore Dragons.

Installed dragon tiles, basilisk

Striped basilisk

Quick Order Dragons

You can quick order dragons. Dragons usually ship fairly quickly. Here's how to order dragons:

  • Order dragons.

    If you are ordering many tiles, need a different size, or a combination of different tiles, see How to Order Tile to take advantage of discounts and better shipping prices.

    After you've checked out, choose Return to Website to be redirected to the confirmation page where you can tell me which dragons tiles (by name or number), ask any questions you might have, and tell me about your project. I will send you an email to confirm your order.

This only works for the US and Canada. For other countries, contact me so I can give you a shipping estimate.

Know Your Dragons