After the Fine Art & Antiques sale (17.5% buyer’s premium) on June 8, Ben Gamble, managing director of the Penkridge auction house, said the vendor will be “over the moon” with the result. A set of four plus a further individual tile were brought into the Wolverhampton saleroom and were among various lots from her mother’s estate, all to be sold with no reserve.
These tiles, each 8in (20.5cm) in diameter and decorated with exotic birds, included two that were impressed with the circular Sands End Fulham Pottery rose marks and another with W.De Morgan. Another single de Morgan tile, depicting an eagle, was impressed with the Merton Abbey mark.
William de Morgan, lifelong friend of William Morris, was a leading English potter and tile designer and became a key proponent of the Arts & Crafts movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With his wife Evelyn, a respected artist in her own right, they became involved in many issues of the day including prison reform, pacifism and the suffragette movement, with William serving as vice president of the Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage in 1913.
The tiles on offer at Cuttlestones were bought by a local buyer in the room against interest from the internet and will be added to his own private collection.