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Otto Masson

William Burges

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I thought I'd start a thread devoted to Burges, since we're having all that discussion about him in the Mysteries thread. Here are some of the pics I have.

First - Burges himself.

wburges.jpg

Photograph_of_William_Burges.jpg

mw07146.jpg

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Great idea Otto!

Here is one of the decanters he designed. A bit ostentatious isn't it?! :) Victorian design represented quite well :lol:

Burgesdecanter.jpg

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Great idea Otto!

Here is one of the decanters he designed. A bit ostentatious isn't it?! :) Victorian design represented quite well :lol:

Burgesdecanter.jpg

Thanks! Lovely medievalistic design.

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Thanks! Lovely medievalistic design.

Otto! You posted some great pics!!! So much to take in at once. It would be fun to discuss each item. Let's start with the decanter? Yes, I thought victorian because of the ornateness but absolutely medieval! On the left is appears to be a ram, on the right a bird? A crow maybe? And all of the cut stones on the body with the mediviel style cross...but on top....are those raw crystals? And the globe! Also some kind of fence that looks almost like sticks put together. It seems there is a lot of symbology packed into that peice.

BTW, loving the more simple vanity mirror. What style is that? And the silverware.

Of course....The pic of Jimmy coming out of the house!! I had never seen that before, MOST AWESOME!! :D

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Otto! You posted some great pics!!! So much to take in at once. It would be fun to discuss each item. Let's start with the decanter? Yes, I thought victorian because of the ornateness but absolutely medieval! On the left is appears to be a ram, on the right a bird? A crow maybe? And all of the cut stones on the body with the medieval style cross...but on top....are those raw crystals? And the globe! Also some kind of fence that looks almost like sticks put together. It seems there is a lot of symbology packed into that peice.

BTW, loving the more simple vanity mirror. What style is that? And the silverware.

Of course....The pic of Jimmy coming out of the house!! I had never seen that before, MOST AWESOME!! :D

Victorian Neo-Gothic and Arts and Crafts respectively. :)

From the V&A:

2006AN4347.jpg

2006AB8292.jpg

2006AU3331-5.jpg

Edited by AllisonAdler

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Victorian Neo-Gothic and Arts and Crafts respectively. :)

From the V&A:

2006AN4347.jpg

2006AB8292.jpg

2006AU3331-5.jpg

Great! I figured you'd show up here Alison :)

Oh! Goody for me! That was my guess, Arts and Crafts but I thought, nah, he wasn't doing stuff in that style was he? Many thanks!

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Jimmy.

th001_edited.jpg

Fascinating idea for a thread, Otto. Thanks for starting it. Ah, I always imagined that Jimmy would live in such a place - the interior reminds me both of a castle and a museum.

Great idea Otto!

Here is one of the decanters he designed. A bit ostentatious isn't it?! :) Victorian design represented quite well :lol:

Burgesdecanter.jpg

That is a beautiful decanter. Were these things strictly decorative or did the (wealthy) Victorians use them in the course of their day-to-day lives?

F139.jpg

Otto, I am very curious about this piece as we have a cabinet we brought from India that, while much smaller, is decorated with figures (from Indian myths) in a similar fashion. Was Burges influenced by Asian design?

Victorian Neo-Gothic and Arts and Crafts respectively. :)

From the V&A:

2006AB8292.jpg

Alison, that piece is beautiful and, again, it reminds me of pieces that we brought back from Asian and/or the Middle East. Can you recommend a good biography of Burges? I would love to learn more about his life and his influences.

Can any of you tell me something about these tiles? Thanks.

BurgesTiles.jpg

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Victorian Neo-Gothic and Arts and Crafts respectively. :)

From the V&A:

Great post Allison, wonderful items. :)

I am quite ignorant about Burges actually - found out about him a good while ago, and went picture-hunting on the internet, but still haven't bought a book about him, nor have I since been to Cardiff, etc. The sensibility in his art to me seems quite similar to many people in roughly the same era (mid to late 19th century), i.e. the ideas of John Ruskin, William Morris, and the Pre-Raphaelites, etc. A lot of Gothic and medieval influences, and obviously a strong emphasis on detail and on handicraft, on craftmanship. And I just like and find that whole sensibility interesting on several levels.

And here's the rest of the pics I have; this will take a few posts.

A wine cabinet:

burges2-winecabinet.jpg

A sideboard:

burges4-sideboard.jpg

And this fireplace is in Cardiff I believe:

burges3-fireplace-cardiff-1.jpg

Edited by Otto Masson

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castellcoch15.jpg

castellcoch16.jpg

- And that's all. B)

MSG, I think you must be right that there are Asian influences in some of his decorations.

Edited by Otto Masson

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Otto, what wonderful pictures! You've spoilt us. Thank you :D

Aren't they beautiful? It seems right that someone as enigmatic as William Burges fascinates an enigma like Jimmy Page.

The boy has good taste.

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Glad you like them. :)

I actually confused two of his big architectural projects earlier - but managed to edit my post in time, phew! :D

As for the tiles you posted MSG, I found this bit of info:

This stunning thirty-piece tile panel by William Burges (1827-1881) for W.B. Simpson & Sons was created around 1880. (We've met the eccentric "parrot-keeping, rat-hunting, opium-eating Freemason" Burges before: here's my post on a wine decanter he designed in 1865 and his connection with guitarist Jimmy Page.)

Burges designed these earthenware tiles, each 15.5 cm square and hand painted in shades of green, blue, and white, for Castell Coch, one of the residences of the 3rd Marquess of Bute, where they were installed in the drawing room fireplace. The panel includes twelve tiles depicting the signs of the Zodiac and eighteen border tiles featuring roundels, bands, and stylized flowers. Apart from the Castell Coch tiles and another set at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute, this panel is the only complete set known to exist. Photographs of the tiles in situ can be seen in J. Mordaunt Crook, William Burges and the High Victorian Dream (1981, pl. 163), and David McLees, Castell Coch (1998, pp. 35-36).

The panel sold at a Sotheby's auction in March for £28,000.

The source is: HERE

The decorative tiles there remind me of some Asian design that I've seen pictures of - but that's not in the Far East. Couldn't really judge though. On the other hand I wasn't aware you could find Indian cabinets that look like the one I posted.

And there is an excellent website about Burges RIGHT HERE

The pictures from inside Tower House can be found there, amongst many other things.

Medhb, found these details of the decanter you posted:

Burgesdetail2.jpg

Burgesdetail3.jpg

Burgesdetail4.jpg

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Great post Allison, wonderful items. :)

I am quite ignorant about Burges actually - found out about him a good while ago, and went picture-hunting on the internet, but still haven't bought a book about him, nor have I since been to Cardiff, etc. The sensibility in his art to me seems quite similar to many people in roughly the same era (mid to late 19th century), i.e. the ideas of John Ruskin, William Morris, and the Pre-Raphaelites, etc. A lot of Gothic and medieval influences, and obviously a strong emphasis on detail and on handicraft, on craftmanship. And I just like and find that whole sensibility interesting on several levels.

Great pics, Otto, thanks for posting them. Burges was a friend and colleague of Morris, and certainly influenced by many of the same writers and artists (like Ruskin, as you said) that the other PRB members were.

MSG: The only full bio is a really old one by a fellow named Crook. It's called William Burges and the High Victorian Dream (which I see Otto just now cited as well). The Matthews book is really just a tiny color pamphlet with many nice photos, but not a whole lot of text. There are similar tiles at Leighton House (Moorish influence).

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- And that's all. B)

MSG, I think you must be right that there are Asian influences in some of his decorations.

Thanks for taking the time to scan and post those fantastic photos, Otto. Although I've read a lot about how the English influenced life in India and how the Indians influenced the lives of the English in India during the Victorian era, I don't know whether and how the art and architecture of India influenced decorative arts in England during that period. For example, did Burges travel to India? Did others bring back painted cabinets from India and did seeing those influence Burges?

Edited to add: Thanks for the additional links!

Edited by MadScreamingGallery

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Great pics, Otto, thanks for posting them. Burges was a friend and colleague of Morris, and certainly influenced by many of the same writers and artists (like Ruskin, as you said) that the other PRB members were.

MSG: The only full bio is a really old one by a fellow named Crook. It's called William Burges and the High Victorian Dream (which I see Otto just now cited as well). The Matthews book is really just a tiny color pamphlet with many nice photos, but not a whole lot of text. There are similar tiles at Leighton House (Moorish influence).

Thanks for the information, Allison. I am familiar with both Crook's book and the pamphlet - I was hoping that there might be another book devoted to Burges's life and influences.

Edited by MadScreamingGallery

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