Designer: Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852)
Manufacturer: Minton & Co (marked as such)
Date mark: 1867
6 inches (15 cm) square
Inlaid and glazed
First image and caption material © copyright The Fine Art Society, London, with Haslam & Whiteway Ltd. Commentary, formatting, and scanned image below obtained by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the scanned image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the source and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one. Click on both the images for larger pictures.
As for the four patterns here, the Agnus Dei is one of Pugin's favourite motifs, and the pelican feeding its young with drops of blood from its own breast is another ancient Christian symbol that he liked, in this case adopted from pre-Christian times. Pugin's work also often features Gothic initials with stylised floral patterns: these tiles have the Greek letters alpha and omega — the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet — signifying the beginning and the end. The pelican with its young is a particularly attractive design. [Commentary continues below.]