A rare and interesting tile. It's a great
design, very simple and very effective, those
are two of the main ingredients of great design,
a (the) third I would suggest is being in the
manner of the sentiment of the times.
The colour, well any blue lighter than mid
blue tend to be described as turquoise these
days, this is described as "Brilliant Persian
Torquoise" by Mintons in their catalogue. Also
from the catalogue we see "these are not
suitable for hearths" which indicates they are
subject to degradation and which clearly limited
the market. Now such blue tiles, especially
moulded majolica made by both the major Minton
companies, have a tendency to lose their
brilliance, the surface finish becomes dusty and
powdery as if reaction with the atmosphere
causes it to break down in to chemical
constituents. Furthermore on embossed tiles the
high pounts seem very vulnerable showing bright
in perfect tiles which are so rarely found for
most appear worn as if the glaze softened and
was readily dispersed. The glaze on this tile is
fabulous and most brilliant.
Stylistically many would no doubt exclaim
"Dresser!" but it is perhaps actually by Pugin,
of course it can not be by Dr Christopher
Dresser for he famously did
not design any tiles whatsoever despite all
the so-called attributions.
The pattern number places it firmly in the
bracket of designs that Mintons Ltd copied from
Minton & Co/Minton Hollins, the so-called
Chr Dresser designs being in similar pattern
number range and many of which can be for sure
ascribed to Pugin.
Yet another interesting facet of this tile is
that the biscuit was cut down prior to printing
and glazing. It is still a good six inches, very
marginally over in fact, but as can be seen from
the image below something approaching 1/4",
certainly in excess of 1/8", has been trimmed
off on two edges. Also of interest is that
circular marks are seen on the trimmed edges,
from a saw or grinder.
So after that rather effusive desciption all
there is left to say is buy it if you like it.
It's the only one we managed to obtain, an
appealing design and a fabulous colour, lovely
to see and lots of interest to boot.