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Wedgwood Tiles
 
Wedgwood was one of the earliest tilemakers suppling creamware tiles to the gentry in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries but tiles were always peripheral to their main business of tableware. They produced a relative small range of decorative tiles the vast majority of which were made by just two processes, transfer printing and stencilled slip. It appears that a considerable proportion of Wedgwood tiles were either made by subcontractors or decorated on bought in blanks. Very few are coloured, those that are appear to have been decorated in Wedgwood's china department.
 

 Printed Tiles

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We may have more of a particular pattern/series than shown as it is not always possible to list all together. Please ask if you require several matching tiles, more than 4 or 5 in very good or better condition is unusual.
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Barbotine & Embossed

Whilst stencilled tiles were a little more expensive to produce there were no significant set up costs, rather than the costly printing plate or moulded die for majolica tiles all that was required was cutting of stencils. They were likely made from copper but could have been made from cardboard, new patterns could therefore be introduced quickly and cheaply. Many companies made a few stencilled tiles but George Marsden both his own company and in his association with Wedgwood made the vast majority.

Many Wedgwood tiles are made from green clay and most bear the legend Patent Impressed verso whether or not the Patent Impressed process was used in their manufacture. White clay tiles in general do not and are embossed with just a single letter or "No. X" X being 1 - 6 or even the letter X the pattern number is usually written in slip. There are some in white clay tiles with place marks for four feet therefore designed for a pot stand that do say Patent Impressed.

Patent Impressed refers to other material impressed in to the body of the tile usually coloured clay dust but also lace similar to Doulton & Slater's patent and shapes probably made from cardboard. The patent describes other materials indeed anything that could burn away in firing or be removed before firing. rarely found are tiles with two distinct materials impressed such as clay dust for colouring and board or other material to create impressed shapes which then may be filled with slip. Some tiles, both stencilled and patent impressed, are found with additional handwork such as stippling or painting.

Patent impressed biscuit, with dust clay impressed to give a speckled effect or infrequently lace, may be found printed. This applies to all manufacturers that Marsden supplied biscuit or finished tiles to including Doulton and The Decorative Art Tile Company.

Majolica tiles are all presumed to have been pressed by subcontractors and maybe glazed too, perhaps multicolour by Wedgwood and monochrome by the OEM. Registered designs for embossed tiles exist from 1890 and 1891 after Wedgwood closed their tile department, these appear to have been made by Marsden. They are multicolour and bear Wedgwood's majolica series pattern numbers but of course the subcontractor could apply the pattern number just as Wedgwood would. Other embossed tiles apparently later in date appear to have been made by Barratt.

 

 

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