designed 1904–6; made 1912
Decorative Arts
Earthenware, gold and ruby luster
Overall: 19 in. (48.26 cm)

The decoration on this charger was created by Walter Crane, one of the most important designers of the late 19th century. A key participant in the Anglo-American Aesthetic movement and a leading exponent of the British Arts and Crafts movement, Crane designed book illustrations, stained-glass windows, wallpaper, ceramics, and textiles. His design of Saint George and the Dragon, seen here, relates to his illustration in an 1894 publication of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene. This plate is inscribed with the words Un Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche (A Knight Without Fear and Without Reproach).

All of Crane’s designs for Pilkington’s Tile & Pottery Company were executed in “Lancastrian Lustre”; Lancastrian refers to the location of the company in Lancaster County, England, while lustre describes the pearly sheen on the pottery’s surface. This sheen was achieved by first applying a glaze of various materials, including metallic oxides and red clay, and then manipulating the firing process to various temperatures.

Several ceramic charges with Crane’s chivalric design were made at Pilkington’s using different colored plates. Only three chargers, including this one, are known to still exist.

Inscribed: UN CHEVALIER SANS PEUR ET SANS REPROCHE, and with monogram of Walter Crane, decorated verson in gold and ruby with tudor roses, and with painted monogram of Richard Joyce; with impressed factory marks: P[ilkington]/XII[1012]/ENGLAND/2477/+
Funds given in honor of Frederick R. Brandt by the Council of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Nancy and Raymond Hunt, Dr. John M. Alexander and Mrs. Helen Inconstani Alexander, the Brownell Family, Sydney and Frances Lewis Endowment Fund, and Swenson Art Nouveau Fund
"Pilkington's Royal Lancastrian Pottery, Richard Dennis Gallery, London, 1980, no. 251;

The Studio Yearbook of Decorative Art, 1908, no. B. 197;

Abraham Lomax, Royal Lancastrian Pottery, 1900-1938, pl. 5 (the design attributed to Gordon M. Forsyth);

Pilkington Manufactory Archive photo album, no. 1, "George and Dragon," shape LL 6167 (cited below, in Rudoe, p. 34);

Anthony J. Cross, Pilkington's Royal Lancastrian Pottery and Tiles, Richard Dennis publication, London, 1980, ill. p. 13, pl. X;

Greg Smith and Sarah Hide (eds.), Walter Crane 1845-1915: Artist, Design and Socialist, 1989, pp. 106-107, C36;

Judy Rudoe, Decorative Arts 1850-1950: A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection, 1991, pp. 34-35, no. 56;

Numerous citations within Curatorial file)

Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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