This cuenca tile, most likely made in the 1920s, is another great example of Spanish ceramic arts. It has a complex Moorish floral design perfectly executed in bright, saturated glazes. The tile is marked on the back: it was made by Casa Gonzáles in Seville. Unlike some other tile factories in Seville that have survived for over a century (e.g. Mensaque Rodriguez), Casa Gonzáles is no longer in business. Fortunately, there is some information about it online (in Spanish).
Casa Gonzáles (also known as Gonzáles Hermanos) started in 1902 as a family business manufacturing construction materials. A 1917 magazine ad states: "Brothers González. Sevilla, mosaic factory (pavements), building materials, sanitary wares, artistic locksmith workshops, plumbing and heating." The firm also employed a number of potters and ceramic artists who created beautiful ceramic altarpieces.
By the 1920s Casa Gonzáles was one of the most prestigious ceramic firms in Seville. They did much of the tiling for the Plaza de España and the María Luisa Park, the site of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 held in Seville. Continue reading
This is a new acquisition and by far the favorite modern tile in my collection. It's a hand-made wall plaque depicting a green horse and a blue rider under a bright moon (or is it sun?). The expressive design is full of details and is hand-carved into the tile. The background brown glaze is very glossy and shiny but the green on the horse is vellum, and so are some of the blues. It's quite large and has a rim that gives it more depth. The back of the tile is glazed with the same brown glossy glaze.
This is a great 1920s table made with Spanish cuenca tiles. Tile-making was introduced to Spain by Moors some time in the 14th century and the tiles in this manner have been made throughout the centuries. Cuenca tiles were used extensively in the 16th century. A factory in Seville called Fábrica de Manuel Ramos Rejano made tiles that look similar between 1895 and 1965. Continue reading
Iznik, a town in western Anatolia (Turkey), was a center for the production of decorative ceramics starting in the last quarter of the 15th century. The pottery had fritware body painted with cobalt blue under a colorless lead glaze and usually combined traditional Arabesque designs with some Chinese elements. Turquoise and dark cobalt blue were the main colors used until additional colors (sage green and pale purple) were introduced in the 16th century. Continue reading