Large Antique Victorian ceramic tile panel by J. M. Smith for Mintons

By Minton (British, founded 1793)


This very fine piece is a large ceramic tile panel by Scottish artist John Moyr Smith for Mintons, some of the finest ceramic makers of Victorian England.


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This large ceramic panel consisting of twelve tiles with scenes from Sir Walter Scott's Waverley novels was designed by John Moyr Smith for the Staffordshire ceramic and porcelain making firm Mintons, some of the finest makers in Victorian England.

The scenes depicted, in underglaze printed in grey/white, black and golden mustard colour, are taken from Sir Walter Scott's 'Waverley Novels': works in the same vein as Waverley, a historical novel and his first foray into prose writing. The twelve images are titled as follows: 'Fortunes of Nigel', 'Rob Roy', 'Guy Mannering', 'Kenilworth', 'Quentin Durward', 'Heart of Midlothian', 'Old Mortality', 'Bride of Lammermoor', 'Fair Maid of Perth', 'Ivanhoe', 'The Antiquary', and 'The Talisman'.

Great works of literature, his historical novels were the most widely reads books in Europe for most of a hundred years. He gravitated towards striking moments of change between stages in society, but was keen to always show that the same human passions dictated character and action across time, as he put it in the first chapter of Waverly, he wrote about 'passions common to men in all stages of society, and which have alike agitated the human heart, whether it throbbed under the steel corslet of the fifteenth century, the brocaded coat of the eighteenth, or the blue frock and white dimity waistcoat of the present day.'

The panels are set in a wooden frame with heraldic shields in the top-left and bottom right-corners, titles along the base, and celtic style borders around. The sharp monochromatic contrast embellished with touches of gold is particularly pleasing, giving each image a wonderful Arthurian mythological historic touch. The back of the panel is enlosed, and each is printed 'Moyr Smith' for the artist.

Panel: height 83cm, width 62cm, depth 0.5cm
Frame: height 89cm, width 67cm, depth 4cm


Terence A. Lockett, Collecting Victorian Tiles, Antique Collectors' Club, 1979, pp. 132, 133: for six of the series illustrated. Lockett also notes that all twelve illustrations were introduced and exhibited in Paris in 1878.


Artist / Maker
By Minton (British, founded 1793)
Country of Origin
British, English
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Mythological, Romantic, Royal / Monarchy, Victorian
Ceramic, Wood
Black, Brown, Gold, White


89 cm / 35 inches
67 cm / 26.4 inches
4 cm / 1.6 inches


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