“Isolte” and “Morgan le Fay” Cottier Tile Panels
Daniel Cottier (1838-1891) and artist W. J. Nelson
This unusual pair of portrait tiles depicts Isolt and Morgan Le Fay, two legendary maidens from the era of King Arthur. The Pre-Raphaelite plaques are a fine example of Aesthetic decorative art created by artist W. J. Nelson in the studio of Daniel Cottier, one of the leading designers of the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Cottier, who was a Scotsman by birth, was fascinated by the medieval roots of Western culture, of which these allegorical subjects are emblematic.
Daniel Cottier established a gallery in New York City in 1873, and his interests greatly influenced high style culture in America. He designed the cover of – and his decorative works are illustrated and described in – Clarence Cook’s The House Beautiful, one of the most significant design books of the American Aesthetic Movement. Signed works by Cottier are rare, and these handsome hand-painted plaques are wonderful examples in exceptionally fine condition.