A white tile made at William de Morgan’s Merton Abbey factory and painted by him with ultramarine and turquoise floral decoration on the white ground. The impressed mark on the reverse, 'Merton Abbey DM' incorporates an image of the Abbey. William de Morgan (1839–1917) was an English designer of pottery and stained glass who later became a novelist. He initially decorated blank tiles, sometimes with designs by his friend William Morris. In the 1870s he began to manufacture his own tiles in his workshop in Chelsea. His designs and painted decoration on bowls, jugs, plates and tiles are characterised by symmetrical stylised floral and geometric motifs, animals, birds and fantastical creatures that were often inspired by Iznik pottery from Turkey. In 1882 De Morgan moved his pottery to Merton Abbey, southwest London, where Morris also had his workshops and where this tile was created. Designs from the Merton Abbey pottery are rare; more common are those made from 1888 to 1907 when De Morgan’s pottery was based at Fulham, a few miles from Hammersmith Terrace.
width — 19.7cm.