WILLIAM FREND DE MORGAN

From 1861 De Morgan was involved with stained glass design; in 1863 he began concentrating on ceramics, designing tiles for William Morris, alongside Simeon Solomon and Albert Moore, his contemporaries at the Academy Schools. His orange House pottery at Cheyne Row in Chelsea started production in 1873; in 1882 he moved with Morris to Merton Abbey. He worked at the Sands End pottery in Fulham from 1888-98 in partnership with the architect Halsey Ricardo. He continued the Sands End pottery until 1907 when he turned to writing novels; his partners from 1898, Charles and Fred Passenger and Frank Iles, kept the pottery in production until 1911. De Morgan made a significant contribution to the Art Pottery movement with the revival of lustre techniques; among his contemporaries in this field he most admired the work of the Frenchman Clement Massier and the Cantagalli factory in Florence. Although De Morgan’s wife claimed there was no commercial collaboration between Cantagalli and De Morgan, they did make pieces to each other’s designs.