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Minton Pugin Gothic Enamelled Majolica Tile

 

Condition: Perfect
Price: £110 (approx $175)
Ref: #03170D

 

UK Special Delivery £120

EU Priority £125

US and World Priority £130

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All marks are manufacturing flaws.


 

• Style: Gothic
• Technique:
Embossed enamelled majolica
• Maker:
Minton & Co
• Dimensions: 6" x 6"
• Date:
circa 1865

 

An excellent enamelled majolica tile designed for a frieze or border most likely by A. W. N. Pugin. The most amazing colours especially given the date, vibrant lime green, luscious mauve, chocolate brown - looks like an advert for a blackcurrant, lime and milk chocolate candy bar. The amazing on-screen colours are true if your computer is properly set up ~ we don't enhance images.

Pugin had a close relationship with Herbert Minton in the early days of industrial tile manufacture and so likely with Michael Hollins too as he managed the Minton & Co tile business from 1845. Many of Pugin's designs whilst in the gothic style are pretty, light and bright quite contrary to current perceptions of the style, they are often attributed to Christopher Dresser who did not design any tiles, see here for more. The designs stood the test of time being featured in Mintons Ltd tile catalogue until at least the 1890s and indeed new Pugin tile designs were introduced over two decades after his death, Mintons Ltd simply copied them from his book Floriated Ornament.

This tile is difficult to date with certainty closer than a few decades, most that come to market are described as 1840s or 1850s but they were technically impossible at such dates and being dust pressed they should have carried Prosser's Patent mark until 1854. Decoratively similar majolica tiles may have been introduced around 1850 using plastic clay but not dust pressed as this and the vast majority of original majolica tiles.

The decorative effect of the technique was not surpassed until the early 20thC and the combination of durability and decor never surpassed as far as I am aware or at least not in large scale commercial tile production. Being very expensive (not as Wm de Morgan & Co tiles though!) their later market would have been very limited but nevertheless it would have existed, the most important selling point with decorative items is colour and by the 1880s underglaze tinted transfer prints were available in even brighter colours at a fraction of the price. Better quality than de Morgan too! - slightly thicker than usual 19thC tiles and dense semi-vitrified clay.

The Minton & Co name was used on tiles from the 1830s onwards and continued even after Herbert Minton's nephew Michael Hollins became proprietor of the tile business in 1868. The name Minton Hollins had been in use since 1840 but Minton & Co continued in use in to the twentieth century. On versos it seems that they continued to use existing dies until they wore out with new dies bearing the naming Minton Hollins & Co. These tiles are most likely quite early, around 1860, as the crispness of the dies and in particular the letter punches on most is very good and sharp.

Verso near perfectly clean, embossed Minton & Co, Stoke on Trent.

 

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