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‘Architecture’ tile: C.15-1983

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)

Titles

‘Architecture’ tile

Maker(s)

Factory: Minton Hollins & Co.
unidentified artist

Entities

Categories

Description

Earthenware, transfer-printed, hand-painted and glazed, in painted wood frame

Square, off-white, dust-pressed earthenware tile. Transfer printed design shows an allegorical figure of ‘Architecture’ holding an opened scroll and a pair of dividers, sitting on steps and leaning against a Corinthian capital. In the background are diagrams of two classically-inspired buildings; in the foreground, a set-square and plumb line. The figures and objects are filled with shaded blocks of colour. The woman’s under-shirt is blue, edged with yellow, and covered by a flowing magenta robe with green lining. Her hair, shoes and the capital are brown. The back of the tile is pressed into coffered squares, unglazed.

Notes

History note: Purchased from Mrs Joan Eve, Cambridge

Legal notes

Purchased with the J.R.V. Smyth Fund.

Measurements and weight

Height: 20.5 cm
Width: 20.5 cm

Relative size of this object

20.5 cm20.5 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Stoke-on-Trent ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1983-06-13) by Eve, Joan

Dating

Late 19th Century
Circa 1875 CE - 1880 CE

Note

Minton, founded in 1793, originally produced blue printed earthenware and, later, creamware, bone china and other products, particularly tableware. From the mid 1830s, new lines in encaustic and printed tiles, figures and ornamental wares were introduced, and in 1844 the factory was commissioned to produce floor tiles to Pugin’s designs for the new Palace of Wedminster. The 1840s also saw the introduction of dust-pressed tiles, made by pressing powdered clay into a moulding box, building on a process patented by Richard Prosser for making buttons. Dust-pressed tiles dry more quickly and are less likely to warp. Moreover, by introducing dies into the moulding box, a single press can produce relief decoration and a moulded back - a characteristic feature of dust-pressed tiles, which aids bonding with mortar. In 1845, Herbert Minton took two nephews, Colin Minton Campbell and Michael Daintry Hollins, into partnership. In 1868, following a dispute, Hollins left to set up a tile works trading as Minton, Hollins & Co., which continued successfully into 1950s, before merging with Johnson tiles. Mintons also continues to produce tiles.

This tile is one of a series of allegorical figures representing The Arts. Three are in the Fitzwilliam Collection: ‘Sculpture’, ‘Design’ and ‘Architecture’, there may also have been others, perhaps including ‘Music’. The series was also produced in 6 inch tiles. These three tiles may originally have been displayed as plaques or inset as panels into a cabinet or washstand. The series is linked by a unified colour-scheme, similarly drawn and clothed figures and recurring attributes. The allegorical theme and dress are classical, but the setting, pose and bold colours give the tiles a more modern air. Although examples of this design are rare, tile series were popular at the time, with subjects ranging from ‘agriculture’ to ‘musical instruments’; another version of Arts and Sciences, designed by John Moyr Smith for Mintons China Works in c.1892, shows more classically posed figures.

School or Style

Victorian

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( green, magenta and brown)

Materials used in production

Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Dust-pressing : Dust-pressed earthenware moulded on one side, transfer-printed and hand-painted
Transfer-printing
Painting

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: (probably - obscured by newspaper backing, but on others in this series)

  • Text: MINTON / HOLLINS / & Co; / PATENT / TILE / WORKS / STOKE ON / TRENT
  • Method of creation: Relief moulded
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.15-1983
Primary reference Number: 15309
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Friday 18 November 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "‘Architecture’ tile" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/15309 Accessed: 2022-11-29 15:53:31

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/15309 |title=‘Architecture’ tile |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-11-29 15:53:31|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/api/v1/objects/object-15309

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa12/C_15_1983.jpg"
        alt="‘Architecture’ tile"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">‘Architecture’ tile</figcaption>
    </figure>
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