Home Dealers Calendar Articles Fine Art Database About AFA Login/Register
Home | Articles | Voysey in America: An Arts & Crafts Floor Tile Discovery

Design attributed to Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857–1941)
James Powell & Sons Whitefriars Glassworks, London
Home of Baron Lafayette Hughes, Denver, Colorado, 1925
Each tile: 8 x 8 inches
Courtesy of Robert Edwards

The grand house of oil baron Lafayette Hughes was designed in the Mediterranean style by the prominent Denver architectural firm of Fisher and Fisher. Completed in 1925, it was embellished with the finest stone carving, wrought iron, and woodwork money could buy. Perhaps the most extraordinary element was the glass floor installed in the garden room. It was composed of stenciled pâte-de-verre tiles made by James Powell & Sons Whitefriars Glassworks in London.

The floor was supplied through the New York City distributor, Robert Rossman, who also handled the products of Tiffany, Lalique, and Cantagalli. Because a floor of the same design was ordered a decade earlier for the palace of Marie, Queen of Romania, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, the design was called “the Roumanian pattern.” It was offered in other colors including “ruby.” The design of these tiles has been attributed to Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857–1941). Whitefriars made glass for many Arts & Crafts designers, such as William Morris, but no design by Voysey has yet been discovered among the extensive Powell archives. When the attribution is confirmed, this tile design will be an important addition to the Voysey oeuvre.

The tiles and many of the other architectural elements were expertly salvaged before the Hughes house was demolished late last year. For more information, visit www.americandecorativeart.com.

Antiques and Fine Art is the leading site for antique collectors, designers, and enthusiasts of art and antiques. Featuring outstanding inventory for sale from top antiques & art dealers, educational articles on fine and decorative arts, and a calendar listing upcoming antiques shows and fairs.