William De Morgan (1839 - 1917), the Victorian potter par excellence, who was partly responsible for tiling the Arab Hall at Lord Leighton's home in Holland Park, has been neglected and is largely unknown to the British public. Books about his stunningly beautiful pottery are few in number, but what the subject lacks in quantity this book makes up for in quality. It is the definitive illutrated guide to his tiles, tile panels, dishes and vases, and was originally published to coincide with a major exhibition of his work held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1987.
It includes their complete collection of his original pottery designs held in the Designs, Prints and Drawings Department,and also working drawings on tracing paper and his sketch book from the De Morgan Studio at the Birmingham Museum: these are not generally available to the public. A section is also devoted to designs by his partner, the architect, Halsey Ricardo.
Greenwood also provides an outline of De Morgan's life and a brief bibliography, which includes Gaunt and Clayton-Stamm, whose biography gives a more detailed treatment. I found the book an invaluable reference work for my MA dissertation on De Morgan, but it is a beautiful coffee table book, and will be enjoyed not only by ceramics enthusiasts, but also by those interested in Persian design and Renaissance style, both of which provided inspiration for De Morgan's inventive works.