"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
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.
This seamless six-inch tile is based on Voysey fabric, which post-dates the original tiles produced by Minton Co. by more than 25 years. The Alice stories were widely popular at the time of their publication in 1862, and have maintained their popularity since. Alice, and the sequel Through the Looking Glass are still retold more than 150 years later, both in animated films and newly illustrated books.
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.
Lewis Carroll made several entries in his diary regarding Alice between 1862-1864. She was, at one point, "Alice in Elfland" so we can only imagine how the story evolved. Here 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.
The White Queen
Off with Her Head!
Knave of Hearts
I have added several floral field tiles to this set so there are now 27 tiles.
Title: Alice in Wonderland Character and Floral Field Tiles
Set: 27 tiles
Size: 4.25 and 6 inch.
4.25 inch square tiles: $49 each
6 inch square tiles: $59 each
In addition to the accent tiles featuring the Alice in Wonderland characters, I have 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 and 8-inch tiles only:
6 inch square tiles: $63 each
8 inch square tiles: $88 each
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