Magnificent Majolica: Water Gods of Liverpool

“Magnificent Majolica” is a bimonthly series where we focus on the opulence and exuberance of the Archive’s majolica designs. Every other month we’ll highlight one or more artworks from our special Art & Design folio as detailed images, galleries, or interactive comparisons. If you’d like to find out more about majolica and why it is synonymous with Minton you can do so through our In Depth introduction to the series.

This water-themed majolica plate design takes its inspiration from the spectacular Minton-tiled floor of St. George’s Hall, Liverpool. Listed in the 1871 Art Catalogue as a “circular plate design” it is one of four artworks which copy the “circular band of figures, water Gods” found on the main hall’s floor, though the entry suggests that it’s only the design highlighted here – G75, mistakenly referred to as “55” – which shows these elements applied to a shape.

Copies of the circular band of figures, water Gods, in floor of St. George’s Hall Liverpool, 72 in Blue + Grey, 73 + 74 in orange and Grey. 55(sic) D[itt]o for a circular plate design.

Surrounding the band of “water Gods” is an unfinished border of fruits and flowers as well as a second design featuring bull rushes, illustrated separately. An annotation placed alongside the main design – “the bull rush border on this part” – reveals that both were to be incorporated in the overall design, alternating around the plate’s edge.

View the source artwork for the highlights above