"I quite agree with you," said the Duchess; "and the moral of that is -- 'Be what you would seem to be' -- or if you'd like it put more simply -- Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise. ~Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
This seamless six-inch tile, based on Voysey fabric, post-dates the tiles by more than 25 years. The Alice stories have been popular since their beginnings in 1862, and the story is still retold more than 150 years later, both in animated films and newly illustrated books. (Salvador Dali illustrated Alice in 1969 and reissued for the 150 year anniversary at an accessible price. See the book).
Although William Morris and Lewis Carroll knew each other well through their mutual friend, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, by the time the Alice stories were so popular as to prompt this series of tiles, Morris and Co. was no longer producing tiles in house. Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) did have Morris & Co. Wonderland-themed tiles installed in the fireplace in his rooms at Oxford, but those tiles were made by William De Morgan. You can see those red-lustre tiles here: Lewis Carroll fireplace at Oxford tiles.
This set of Alice in Wonderland tiles based primarily on CFA Voysey's Alice in Wonderland tiles produced by Minton Co. John Tenniel's illustrations and Voysey's Alice designs for tile and textiles. Where characters were missing, I've supplemented with the original John Tenniel illustrations.
First told to Alice Liddel and her sisters on 4 July 1862, Alice's Adventures Underground, later Alice in Wonderland, was not published until 1865. Surprisingly, it received poor reviews and it was not until its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There was released in 1871 that the Alice tales began to gain popularity. By the 1890s, when CFA Voysey designed the Alice tiles for Minton Co., Alice was well-known in all British nurseries.
See Lewis Carroll's diary entry, 1862-1864, where he notes his first telling the story to Alice Liddell and her sisters.
Alice character accent tiles are available on 4.25 and 6 inch tiles with a cream or white background.
Bluebells and Mushrooms
The White Queen
Off with Her Head!
Walrus and Carpenter
Knave of Hearts
White Rabbit Herald
In addition to the accent tiles featuring the Alice in Wonderland characters, I have rectangular floral field tiles, as well as seamless field tiles based on the CFA Voysey fabric produced some 20 years after the tiles were designed. All tiles are available with white or cream backgrounds.
This seamless Voysey fabric field tile is available on six-inch tiles only:
There are four Alice field tiles: The seamless six-inch square tiles based on CFA Voysey fabric (shown above) and three floral tiles available in 6 inch square or 8x6 inch: Bluebells and Mushrooms, Red Tiger Lilies, and Yellow Tulips.
Title: Alice in Wonderland
Set: 18 tiles
Size: 4.25 and 6 inch. Floral field tiles in 6 inch or 8 x 6 inch. The 1890 fabric-based tiles are available in 6-inch only.
4.25 inch square tiles: $44 each
6 inch square tiles: $55 each
8x6 inch field tiles: $77
How to Order Tile
Voysey was 24 years younger than Morris, but was a great admirer of his work and the first wave of the Arts and Crafts movement. Although his Alice in Wonderland fabric and wallpaper is better known, he first designed the Alice tiles thirty before turning his hand to the fabric. The first ten tiles are based on the tiles CFA Voysey did for Minton and Co. in 1890, more than a decade after Morris & Co had stopped producing tiles in-house.
The original CFA Voysey tile designs, produced by Minton:
The remaining tiles are based on the fabric designs, and accented with foliage from Alice and other designs.
CFA Voysey Alice in Wonderland Fabric Design, 1920