Shape Type: Miscellaneous

Pattern Type: Literature, Classical, Mythology, and the Arts

Date: 1770-1780


  • Height: 4.96 in (12.60 cm)
  • Length: 4.96 in (12.60 cm)
  • Width: 0.28 in (0.70 cm)

Maker: Unknown

Printer: Guy Green


Tin-glazed earthenware (so-called delftware) tile printed in purple in Liverpool by Guy Green. John Sadler wrote to Josiah Wedgwood on 25 April 1770 "We received your's, and have made several Essays towards a Purple Colour some Time ago, but find it very difficult - We shall not however give it up - If you can give us any Hint shall be obliged to you.' Sadler retired at the end of the year, but apparently not before he had mastered the purple. Wedgwood wrote in April 1771: "Sadler has sent me some samples of a pretty good purple for printing with.." Most Liverpool tiles printed in a good purple must therefore date from the time of Guy Green after Sadler's retirement. 

 This tile has the standard border known as the '88' border after the shapes in the middle at either side. The print is of "The Fable of the Crow and the Pitcher" (Anthony Ray, Liverpool Printed Tiles, 1994, no. D8-9) after Elisha Kirkall's plate no. 53 in Samuel Croxall's Fables of Aesop and Others, first published in 1722. "Fable" tiles of 45 different designs after Kirkall are known. All of them, however, follow only the basic composition of Kirkall's simple line engravings, for the work of Sadler and Green's engraver is far superior and much more finely detailed.