Rare examples of De Morgan Stained Glass have been brought to light

A much under researched part of William De Morgan's oeuvre is his designs for stained glass. Between 1865 and 1872 he was known to have worked on stained glass production with Edward Burne-Jones for Morris and Co. As well as contributing to some of Burne-Jones’s commissions he also worked on commissions by himself and we are aware that he created designs for 8 churches across the country, of which we believe 5 are still in situ.  

                                              

We were fascinated therefore to learn that some windows made by William De Morgan in the 1860s and originally installed in St Lawrence Whitechurch, Little Stanmore have recently come to light. The panels were part of Victorian renovations to the church and removed again over a century later when on the advice of the Georgian Society the church was restored to its original baroque interior. The panels were however safely kept in storage at the church and two of them have recently been loaned by the Parochial Church Council to the nearby North London Collegiate School, who have conserved and installed them to magnificent effect.

 

The stained glass panels depict scenes from Handel's oratorios and commemorate the link betweeHandel to the Stanmore area - he lived on the Cannons Estate under the patronage of the Duke of Chandos. The school now inhabits the same site so it is fitting that the panels depicting Esther and St Cecilia have been installed there. A third window from the series is now on loan to the Stained Glass museum in Ely. 

The Esther Window (left) depicts the queen of the Persian King Ahasuerus and her story is the basis for the Jewish festival of Purim. Handel's oratorio of the same name began in 1718 as a masque, or chamber drama and was probably first composed and performed at Cannons. Saint Cecilia (right) is appropriately the patroness of musicians. 

We are grateful to both North London Collegiate School www.nlcs.org.uk  and the Parochial Church Council for involving the De Morgan Foundation in the re-dedication ceremony for the windows and to John Salmon for the photographs of the complete panels. 

 

 

 

You can see a video of the tile panels on our youtube page

The panels are not on public view, but for further information please contact:

Karen Morgan
Head Librarian / Archivist
North London Collegiate School
KBMorgan@nlcs.org.uk