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George Grundy Photographic Tile of Chatsworth House

• Condition: Excellent
• Price: £90 (approx $110)
• Stock number: 06847

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Two very tiny rim chips, some very slight losses, other exceedingly minor marks


Style: Landscape
• Technique: Photographic
Maker: The Photo Decorated Tile Co.
• Dimensions: 6" x 6"
• Date: 1896*


A rarely found tile of one of England's most famous stately homes, Chatsworth House. The tile is entitled Chatsworth House 46, 46 being the design number. One of England's most loved and venerated stately homes it has been a tourist attraction for over a century, see Wikipedia and Derby Telegraph for more information.

See also 06243 for another Grundy tile of Chatsworth House this time in sepia and from a different photograph even though the pattern number is the same. It appears that the black image is later given the leaves on the trees and shrubs, and using a better lens.

There were many attempts to convert photographs to ceramic decorations in the late 19th century, many patents testify to the endeavours, but it was only in the last couple of years of the century that George Grundy invented a process that was successfulthat is to say commercially viable. In 1900 Grundy sold the rights to the Royal Castle Flint Glassworks of Hatton near Derby.

From the Pottery Gazette of October 1896, "Mr G H Grundy, Duffield Road, Derby has a decided novelty (which he is now producing under provisional protection) in the shape of Photo-decorated Tiles, Mr Grundy informs us that the result he has arrived at in this new departure in tile decoration, was only attained after many months of experiment and a large expenditure of money. Instead of the usual ideal landscape, and copperplate prints of geometric designs, the decoration of these tiles consists of actual photographs of well known views, places of resort, portraits of celebrities or, in fact, of anything else that can be photographed.

It is thus apparent that there cannot be any limit to the subjects of decoration. The pictures are printed on the tiles in ceramic colours and being fired under the glaze they make the most imperishable photographic records known."

Verso clean but stained, Maw & Co. blank.

*A companion tile apparently from the same installtion bears the, stamped "Grundy, Derby. Pat. Applied For" indicating that it was made in 1896 before the patent was confirmed.


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