Leeds Art Gallery

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Charger

William de Morgan, c1885, Earthenware with lustre decoration

William de Morgan (1839 - 1917) was a lifelong friend of William Morris and introduced the principles of the Arts and Crafts Movment into ceramic design and manufacture. For ten years he worked in partnership with the architect and designer Halsey Ricardo (1854 - 1928). Together they brought the art of lustreware (ceramics decorated with metallic oxides) to new heights of technical and creative brilliance, drawing inspiration from the Middle East where the technique had evolved many centuries before. Fantastical animals and birds were among their favorite motifs, as here. De Morgan's design for this charger is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. His work had a strong influence on the Burmantofts Pottery in Leeds where the monogrammist LK (recently identified as Leonard King) decorated 'Persian Ware' in his manner.