Arts & Crafts Nursery Tiles

Now not day only shall be beloved, but night too shall be beautiful and blessed and all its fear pass away. ~ JRR Tolkien

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Top row: CFA Voysey, The House that Jack Built. Bottom row: Walter Crane, The House that Jack Built

From top left: CFA Voysey House, black;
CFA Voysey House, white;
Walter Crane House, cream;
Walter Crane House, aqua

Walter Crane / CFA Voysey: The House that Jack Built

I have two versions of The House that Jack Built, one by CFA Voysey and Walter Crane. That two such well-known designers designed around the nursery rhyme tells us just how enduring was its popularity. Crane's House was designed in 1886. Voysey's design was first manufactured as cotton curtains in 1929 but is believed to predate its manufacture by several years.

The origins of the rhyme that inspired the design is much older, coming from an Aramaic hymn, Chad Gadya (meaning, "One Young Goat") first printed in 1590. The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge based a self-parody published in 1797 under the name Nehemiah Higginbotham on The House that Jack Built. It also has a dark, political past, having been used many times to lampoon political opponents both in Britian and the United States. Thomas Jefferson used it in an argument against strong federal powers. During the American Civil War, a parody was used to lambast Jefferson David, slavery, and the Confederacy.

The House that Jack Built Nursery Tiles

I've adapted the CFA Voysey for six-inch tile from the original design House for fabric and wallpaper. Voysey's published wallpaper did not include the charming rat. Walter Crane did do some work on commission for Morris and Co., although his House that Jack Built was created much later. The House on the left above is closer to Voysey's original colors.

Title: The House that Jack Built (CFA Voysey)

Colors: Available on Black and Cream backgrounds

Size: 6 inch square tiles (15.4 cm)

Title: The House that Jack Built (Walter Crane)

Colors: Available on cream in orange and cream, or blue and turquoise colorways

Size: 6 inch square tiles (15.4 cm)

Pricing for The House that Jack Built (both versions)

6 inch square tiles: $55

Minimum Order: 5 tiles, any combination.

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CFA Voysey Rook and Holly

CFA Voysey, Rook and Holly blackbirds
CFA Voysey chose Rook and Holly for his own children's nursery

CFA Voysey, Hey Diddle Diddle in four cat colorways

Tiles available in 4.25 inch and 6 inch: From top left: Hey Diddle Diddle (four cat colorways).

Apothecary's Garden Adapted from CFA Voysey, Rook and Holly black (right) and blue bird (left) variations. Rook and Holly was the pattern CFA Voysey selected for his own children's nursery.

Tiles available in 4.25 inch only: From top left: Apothecary's Garden, Rook and Holly (blue birds), Rook and Holly (original blackbirds).

Six-inch Tiles

Hey Diddle Diddle: Hey Diddle Diddle with black, orange, ruddy, and gray cat colorways.

Four-and-a-quarter-inch Tiles

Rook and Holly: Rook and Holly was the pattern chosen for the Voysey children's nursery.

Apothecary's Garden: Adapted for tile from the original Voysey design. Vertical repeat.

4.25 inch square tiles: $44 each

6 inch square tiles: $55 each

Minimum Order: 5 tiles, any combination.

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CFA Voysey Tiles

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De Morgan Fantastic Birds and Beasts

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