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Tile picture

ca. 1725
Origin: England, London
4" X 54 1/2"
Tin-glazed earthenware (delft)
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1989-61
Picture composed of fifty-five tiles. White tin glaze decorated in blue with a chinoiserie landscape: in the foreground, buildings separated by a long river that extends into the background; at the top, more buildings, trees, a flying bird, and insects. Figures visible in boats, on bridges, and in windows. Each tile numbered sequentially from 1 to 55.
Label:This is one of six tile pictures that apparently were placed in the pantry of a house in Lambeth about 1800 and removed before the house was demolished in 1912. The other five are now either at the Victoria and Albert Museum or at the Museum of London. The mate to this tile picture was purchased by the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1912, at which time CWF picture must have been purchased by Doulton's, as it hung for many years at Doulton House in Lambeth. According to popular history, these tile pictures once belonged at Strawberry Hill, Horace Walpole's home, but they are not included in the well-documented furnishing lists. The number of English-made tile pictures that survive is limited, particularly compared with the large number of Dutch-made examples. It has been speculated that the difficulty of making these pictures necessitated the importation of workers from the Continent. Some surviving English tile pictures are decorated with large vases of flowers and views of European landscapes.
Provenance:Jonathan Horne (Antiques) Ltd., London
Inscription(s):Each tile numbered sequentially from 1 to 55.