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Rare Victorian Polychrome Printed Tile


Condition: Excellent
Price: £135 (approx $216)
Ref: #02262

UK Special Delivery £143

EU Airsure £147

US and World Airsure £151

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Bottom corners trimmed for the original fixing, one very tiny chip bottom edge, perfectly clean and brilliantly glazed.


Style/technique: Floral polychrome print
Manufacturer: Steele & Wood*
Dimensions: 6" x 6"
Date: circa 1890


A rare and super quality multicolour print featuring a spray of carnations and with a really good pink, the flowers most unusually set of aganst a background of pale blue-grey. This appears to be dusted or applied with a pad but the rest is printed so it may be also whichever it is a phenomenal achievement for its time..

Multicolour printing on ceramics was not well developed until the twentieth century and its history in the rapid technological advances of the late 19th century is not well understood. Early leaders were Minton & Co whilst managed by Hollins, later Mintons Ltd also but only with a limited range of block printed colours, W B Simpson and Maw & Co produced some good wares too but the persistence of hand coloured prints into the twentieth century indicates the process produced better results more cost-effectively. Sherwin & Cotton's Niello process produced great results but gain limited market acceptance, presumably it was not priced competitively with hand coloured wares.

This is believed to be by Steele & Wood and several other examples of exceptional printing by them are known, or at least I should say on similar blanks for certain attribution can not be made. There are several indications that point in that direction such that I am 90% sure but more evidence is required. Another dark horse is another little known company Jackson Brothers who produced a very well printed multicolout commemmorative tile for the jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887.

Verso perfectly clean, generic rails with subtle but distinctive features.


The image is a little oversize rather than cropped close to the edges so that the edges can easily be seen and any chips etc can be quickly spotted. Other marks described are usually not visible at all when the tile is viewed straight as one normally sees it and can only be seen with a critical eye when the tile is tilted to catch imperfections in reflected light. For more details of how we describe marks see Condition.

The image is full size at 72 dpi (about 430 pixels wide) in maximum quality JPEG format. Customers may request a larger 120 dpi image also in maximum quality JPEG format for closer inspection which will be sent by email.


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