Floral Geometric Table by Taylor

Floral Geometric Table by TaylorTaylor Tilery (1930 - 1941, also known as Santa Monica Brick Company) was one of the more prolific tile factories. Taylor produced a number of scenic panels (California Missions, dancers of all kinds, scenes with birds) as well as a huge variety of geometric decorative tiles.

This table with six tiles set into a pretty wooden frame with scalloped edges was not easy to identify. I couldn't find this exact design in any of the books or catalogs. At least 4 companies - D. & M., Tudor, Hispano-Moresque, and Taylor - created tiles using bright orange glaze as one of the main colors. To make matters more complicated, different factories were often using the same historic references to create their designs or simply "borrowed" inspiration from their competitors' catalogs. Tile workers often moved around between tile companies throughout their career. Finally, each tile worker had a personal style, so two tiles produced by the same factory could have different manner or quality of execution.

Aside from general considerations about the technique used to create the tiles, when it comes to shared or previously undocumented designs, the only constant seems to be the formulas for glazes. They are usually fairly consistent in terms of color and texture for each manufacturer. Armed with this knowledge, I looked both for the designs and the general color scheme used in my tiles and compared it to the examples from the factories mentioned above.

On page 165 of the California Tile, The Golden Era 1910-1940 (vol. 2) I found a 6-tile panel by Taylor that uses the same color scheme: orange, white, beige, green (teal), and black. All D&M, Hispano-Moresque, and Tudor tiles seem to have either yellow or blue - but not light beige - combined with orange.

Taylor catalog showed that they used a lot of fairly complex floral elements in their geometric decorative tiles. I was also able to find this design (but using different colors) on caltiles.com website identified as Taylor.

Finally, I put this table next to the Santa Barbara Mission one and took a close look at all the glazes. I was able to find exactly the same orange,  light beige, green, and white glazes on the Santa Barbara Mission tiles.

My money is on Taylor. 

  • Dimensions: 18 1/2" x 12 1/2" (not including the wooden edge), six 6" x 6" tiles
  • Acquired: Santa Cruz, California, August 2013

Floral Geometric Table by TaylorFloral Geometric Table by Taylor

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