Large Victorian ceramic tile panel by John Moyr Smith for Mintons
Panel: height 83cm, width 62cm, depth 0.5cm
Frame: height 89cm, width 67cm, depth 4cm
Designed by the Scottish architect, art historian and later artist and designer John Moyr Smith, this framed set of twelve ceramic tiles, mounted as a single panel, was made by the Staffordshire pottery firm Mintons, leading makers of Victorian England.
In a series of twelve tiles in underglaze printed in grey, black and mustard colour, they depict scenes from Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley novels, historical novels by Scott so-named after his first novel ‘Waverly,’ which were for a time some of the most widely read novels on the European continent. The scenes are taken from a series of these books, marked to the reverse as: the Fortunes of Nigel, Rob Roy, Guy Mannering, Kenilworth, Quentin Durward, Heart of Midlothian, Old Mortality, Bride of Lammermoor, Fair Maid of Perth, Ivanhoe, The Antiquary and The Talisman.
The twelve tiles are mounted in a wooden frame as a single panel. Each is printed ‘Moyr Smith,’ with heraldic shields in the top left and bottom right corners and the title of each piece across the bottom. The illustrations are beautifully evocative monochromatic pieces, full of narrative, theatrical tension, and character, recalling chivalric, heroic, historical times, in fine artistic style; forming both a fine work of art and of Victorian ceramic production.