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01-Aug-2020 09:47

Once the preserve of architectural historians keen to salvage fragments of architectural heritage, antique tiles have been rediscovered by collectors for their ease of display, decorative appeal and affordability.The majority of old tiles encountered today are products of the Industrial Revolution - tin-glazed earthenware tiles from the delft-producing centres of the mid 18th century and dust-pressed tiles from the Victorian and Edwardian periods.At the same time medieval encaustic floor tiles, the hard-wearing, two-coloured clay tiles with a lead glaze that neo-gothic architects admired in some of the nation's most venerable buildings, were also a source of inspiration.From the 1840s Minton & Co, Maw & Co, Godwin, Campbell Tiles, and Craven Dunnill were amongst the foremost manufacturers of encaustic tiles made in a range of patterns, colours and figurative designs for use in all manner of ecclesiastical, public and domestic buildings.The appearance on the market in recent times of several important collections has yet to wholly satisfy demand.A record for a single William De Morgan tile was set by Woolley & Wallis of Salisbury in 2012 when a rare lustre kingfisher tile sold at £5100.Dust-pressing, the compacting of powdered clay in a hand- or steam-operated press, facilitated a revolution in tile production when invented by the engineer Richard Prosser in 1840.Quickly exploited by the Staffordshire potter Herbert Minton, who bought a share of the patent, the method was quicker and more efficient than tiles made in 'plastic' clay and created a uniform product with a perfectly smooth surface unlikely to shrink or warp during firing.

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For reasons of hygiene and decoration, they adorned porches, bathrooms, butcher's shops and fishmongers, or were set in fireplaces and picture frames or in occasional furniture from table tops and wash stands to jardinières and coat stands.View items 1-60 · 61-85 For a larger photograph and more information, click on more details above. Click on any price to convert it to other major currencies.



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