BROMPTON CEMETERY – JAEGER FAMILY TILED HEADSTONE 1950/53

This is the grave of Henry F Tomalin, son of Lewis Tomalin the founder of the clothing company Jaeger, his wife Dora and their son Miles in Brompton Cemetery, Chelsea, London. Erected in 1950? the pink and grey ivy tiles are a real surprise amongst the grey headstones. What could be better for a family famous for their fashions, fabrics and taste of dense pattern. Ivy as a symbol is associated with eternity, fidelity, love and affection. It would be interesting to know whether these are off-the-peg tiles or a commission. The are screen-printed in pink and a delicate grey on white and very much of their time as designs but wartime restrictions on ceramic production were still in place until 1952/3 so perhaps the slab was added in 1953 when Dora died. It would explain the stylistic mismatch between the gravel-slab itself and the headstone. My guess would be a commission from Carter’s Poole Pottery. For examples see The Virtual Museum of Poole Pottery http://www.pooleimages.co.uk/Pages/CartersTiles.aspx. Any ideas anyone?

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