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Kelmscott Manor: Two Fireplaces Fireplace Tiles

Kelmscott Manor Fireplaces. From left: Tapestry Room, Green Drawing Room, White Paneled Drawing Room

From left: Tapestry Room fireplace, Green Drawing Room fireplace, White Paneled Drawing Room fireplace

To enjoy good houses and good books in self-respect and decent comfort,
seems to me to be the pleasurable end towards which all societies
of human beings ought now to struggle. ~William Morris

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Kelmscott Manor Fireplaces

On this page: Tapestry Room Tiles, White Paneled Drawing Room Tiles (both Morris & Co. Iznik Reproduction Tiles)

Other Kelmscott Manor Fireplaces: Green Room Fireplace Tiles (designed by William Morris and William De Morgan)

Kelmscott Manor

Kelmscott Manor was Morris's last home, the home where he lived the longest, and the home he most love. It was built around 1600 with some later additions. Morris and Rossetti leased Kelmscott Manor together, and Rossetti took up residence while Morris was away in Iceland in the summer of 1871. Rossetti was less enamored of Kelmscott's rural surroundings in the Cotswalds than he was of Janey:

This place is an desert or an Eden, whichever you choose to term it. The house and its surroundings are simply delicious, the country rather flat and uninteresting, except walks by the weather, which are a little impeded at present by the floods. ( letter to Murray Marks, July 1871)

Tapestry room at Kelmscott Manor with Rossetti table.

Morris & Co. Reproduction Iznik Tiles

Once thought to have been Morris designs, the fireplace tiles in the Tapestry and White Paneled Rooms are copies of 16th century Iznik designs, commissioned by Philip Webb, produced in Holland and sold through Morris & Co.

The Kelmscott Manor drawing room tiles came from Morris & Co., but only the Green Room fireplace tiles were Morris & Co. designs. The tiles chosen for the Kelmscott fireplaces reflect Jane's preferences and her early nest-building with Rossetti. Shortly after taking up residence at Kelmscott Manor, she wrote to Philip Webb in London asking him to send six dozen tiles from the firm's workshop in Queen's Square:

I am getting the fireplace set straight in the dining room, the one with the broken mantleshelf. Will they look best of various patterns or all alike? They must be all blue. (letters of Jane Morris)

The Tapestry Room ("Persian Flower") and White Paneled Drawing Room ("Persian Diaper") tiles were reproductions of Iznik tiles produced on commssion from Murray Marks, an art dealer and associate of William Morris, and a friend of Rossetti. During Morris's first summer away in Iceland in July 1871, Rossetti purchased mahogany and satinwood tables from Marks for his studio in the Tapestry Room Kelmscott Manor and had them sent to Janey

*Unfortunately, the Victorian fireplace and grate in the dining room that Jane refers to was removed and the original stone fireplace left exposed.

William Morris, William De Morgan, and Iznik Tiles

In 1868, Owen Jones published The Grammar of Ornament, a highly influential book that introduced the "Persian" and "Ottoman" styles to the Victorian middle class. Morris, and De Morgan, "Persian" colors are rightly Iznik tiles. Iznik, Turkey, was a center for ceramics in the 15th and 16th century, and its tiles were prized by Morris and other Victorians both because of their quality and because the method of its production was undocumented and lost during the decline of the Ottoman Empire during the 17th century. William De Morgan, Morris's friend and colleague, repopularized the Persian color palette. Known as the Father of Arts & Crafts Ceramics, De Morgan had first worked in stained glass for Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, and Co. and this knowledge helped him to recreate the Iznik ("Persian" color pallette, and at the other end of the spectrum the metallic lustre he became so well known for.

Tapestry Room in the North Hall

Persian Flower

Like the Green Room, the Tapestry Room in the North Hall features artichokes. Rossetti used the Tapestry Room as his studio. NOT an open floor plan, Rossetti had to pass through Morris's bedroom to reach his tapestry room studio from Jane's bedroom at the end of the corridor.

This Morris and Co. tile design is a one of a series of tiles copied from 16th century Iznak designs. Iznak reproduction tiles were used in both the Tapestry Room and Panelled Room fireplaces at Kelmscott manor.

Tiles in this pattern and color are also installed at Emery Walker House.

Tapestry Room Persian Flower Fireplace Tiles

Morris and Co. Iznik reproduction tiles, produced on commission for Murray Marks

Designer: Copy of 16th century Iznik tiles on commission, overseen by Philip Webb

Colors: Traditional Persian Tile colors. Kelmscott Tiles have yellow flowers but Morris and Co. also produced a deep salmon pink version. Colors can be modified somewhat. See How to Order Tile.

Sizes: 4.25 or 6 inch

4.25 inch square tiles: $53

6 inch square tiles: $63

Morris and Co. early Persian design commissioned by Philip Webb

White Paneled Drawing Room

Persian Diaper

The paneled drawing room was painted white when Morris first rented Kelmscott Manor, an untraditional color the the day. Some experts trace The modern liking for plain white walls to this room.

The Persian Diaper tiles lining the White Drawing Room fireplace have green leaf accents.

The tiles are a two-tile set that are seamless in both directions. I also have a second version, with darker cobalt leaves. These tiles are only available on 4.25 inch tiles.

White Drawing Room Persian Diaper Fireplace Tiles

Designer: Copy of 16th century Iznik tiles on commission, overseen by Philip Webb

Colors: Traditional Morris Persian Tile colors. Kelmscott Manor Tiles have green leaves, but I have also made a blue and white version. See How to Order Tile.

Sizes: 4.25 inch only

4.25 inch square tiles: $53

Kelmscott Manor Persian Diaper tiles Kelmscott Manor Persian Diaper tiles, blue variant

Related Pages

William Morris overview

Green Room Fireplace Tiles

Philip Webb Red House Birds

More Fireplace Tiles

Fireplace Installations

Glessner House Master Fireplace

Lewis Carroll Fireplace

De Morgan Parrots and Macaws

Turquoise Blue Peacocks

Arts and Crafts Fish Bowl Tile Panels

Kelmscott Manor Green Room Fireplace

Membland Fireplace Tiles

William Morris Paneled Drawing Room fireplace tiles

Emery Walker House and Kelmscott House Poppy Fireplaces

Scholarly Articles

You might also be interested in Coloring the Surface: A Taste for 'Persian' Tiles in English Domestic Architecture 1870-1914,

and Kelmscott Manor, the Home of William Morris and Its Repair for the Society of Antiquaries of London,

and Society of Antiquaries Kelmscott Manor and Estate Conservation Management Plan (has historical sections, see Significances as well as photos not found elsewhere).

Both are much more interesting than the titles would lead you to believe and show the floorplan as it changed since Kelmscott Manor was first built, as well as many pre-renovation photos.