Arts & Crafts Barbotine Tile
  • Style/technique: Arts & crafts barbotine
  • Manufacturer: Sherwin & Cotton
  • Pattern number: RMB116
  • Dimensions: 6" x 6"
  • Date: circa 1885 - 90
  • Colours: 7


A very pleasing barbotine design which near fills the tile entirely handmade and decorated. Natural colours, a colour textured background and brilliant glaze combine to create a warm and friendly tile.

The body is of buff plastic clay and a little thicker than usual, the use of plastic clay indicating the tile was made before materials technology improved sufficiently to reliably make barbotine tiles on dust pressed bodies. Verso has a standard Sherwin & Cotton Staffordshire Knot mark with the incised pattern number B116.

Barbotine is a process whereby embossed tiles may be hand made, the relief being created by painting the designs in coloured slip. It is not generally recognised how innovative barbotine tiles were, they didn't compete with usual lead glaze majolica tiles they predated them. Prior to their advent there were essentially only three types of tiles available, printed and painted flat tiles and 'original majolica' in opaque glazes, when these hit the market around 1885 they were totally new and startlingly different to all other offerings at the time. Other manufacturers tried to copy them using mechanical processes, ie moulded 'modern majolica' but it took a few years of pretty poor efforts before reasonable quality and a range of colours equal to barbotine was achieved. Colours for the barbotine process were limited too, partly because clay fires at a higher temperatues than glaze so less stable colours burn off, nevertheless what appears to us today to be a limited range of colours it wasn't so in 1885. It is presumed that the vast majority of barbotine tiles were made in the period 1885 - 1890 by which time many of the technological hinderances to the production of dust pressed 'modern majolica' tiles had been overcome.


Condition: Excellent
Price: £70 (approx $138)
Ref no: 01082 

The top edge has two very small chips, there are very small chips on the top corners and one tiny one on the bottom edge. There is a little staining near the left edge, some light rubbing to high spots and other very minor surface marks. Super brilliance in the glaze.

UK Special Delivery £78

US and World Airsure £85

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