Rare William De Morgan Stained Glass Panel to Sell in January

Rare William De Morgan Stained Glass Panel to Sell in January

Sworders’ Design sale on 25-26 January 2022 includes one of only a handful of stained glass windows designed by William De Morgan (1839-1917). The 67cm wide by 97cm high panel depicting the archangel St Michael slaying a dragon, is expected to bring £80,000-120,000.

17 November 2021

Although De Morgan is renowned today as a ceramicist, some of his earliest work was in the medium of stained glass. Having trained as a painter at the Royal Academy Schools, in the early 1860s he was introduced to William Morris and became increasingly drawn to work as a designer for the applied arts. He contributed some designs to the Morris partnership and by the end of the decade was sharing a studio with J.T. Lyon & Co at 40 Fitzroy Square, London.

During a relatively short period of just three or four years, De Morgan made cartoons for a number of Lyon & Co windows that survive in the churches for which they were made. Notable examples are a series of Apostles at St Luke, Torquay, Devon (c. 1869), the Good Shepherd at St Mary the Virgin, Layer Marney, Essex (1870), and the Life of Christ East window and others at St Michael, Rocester, Staffs (1871). 

 

De Morgan Window

 

The window that is consigned for sale next year is thought to be that shown at the London International Exhibition in 1871. Perhaps most characteristic of De Morgan are the grotesque aquatic creatures that adorn the borders of this panel. However, it also features a sinuous beast that is known from both a De Morgan drawing and a piece of furniture in the collection of the De Morgan Foundation, now based at the Watts Gallery, Compton, Surrey. It will be sold in our auction of Design on 25-26 January 2022 with an estimate of £80,000-120,000.

 

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