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The Henry Richards Tile Company

One might justifiably call the company the greatest tile makers of the twentieth century the early competition Maw & Co. somewhat fading and none of the others coming close to the number of patterns and range of glaze colours the company produced. The Richards name would have survived all others were it not for an accident of accounting for the company 'merged' with H & R Johnson but it was a reverse takeover, the lesser company took over the greater company, an act not of reality but of expediency for accounting purposes primarily to pay less to the Inland Revenue and for the shareholders to profit more..

So what became Johnson-Richards should have been Richards-Johnson, and is the case in all such matter the name after a few years becomes simplified the part after and including the hyphen being eliminated for marketing purposes and the name Richards which should have been forever recognised faded into history.

The Henry Richards Tile Company, Richards Tiles from 1931, made more tile patterns than any other significant tile company in the 20th century. Not just patterns, the company used more glaze colours than any other, the number of patterns and colourways far exceeding 100,000 more than any collection of tiles could ever get to grips with. Some patterns were made in excess of four dozen colourways in addition to the potentially hundreds of monochrome glaze colours.

The company also produced transfer printed tiles, most of the early examples were copies of popular 19th century designs but a few were new and even registered by the company. Printed designs were essentially finished by the early 1900s but there was still some legacy demand for them and they were cheap for the ultra-budget market, and Richards perhaps more than many other tried to cater to all markets, the rich and the poor.

 
  

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