This is my second phoenix bird (the first one is the linoleum wrought iron table), and I am quite fond of this one. Like many others in my collection it was created by Taylor Tilery (1930 - 1941), but it's a very rare and exceptionally well-executed design. Taylor had quite a number of different bird murals (jays, parrots, birds of paradise, pheasants), and this one is the best.
Four large cuerda seca tiles create an incredible Art Deco image of a phoenix (or a pheasant? or a bird of paradise?) perched on a flowering branch against a background of blue and orange stripes. Taylor used matte glazes for this mural; most other bird murals are executed in glossy glazes. It's bright and lively yet very tasteful.
The woodwork is quite elaborate as well. The tiles are set into a mahogany frame with carved borders; underneath there are carved Art Deco aprons and stretchers connecting turned legs.
This particular design, while undeniably Taylor, is not listed in their catalog. It does, however, appear on page 261 of the Encyclopedia of American Art Tiles, Region 6. It's also shown on page 186 of the California Revival, albeit in a slightly different color scheme.
This table must have been cherished by its previous owners as the tiles are in perfect condition, with some minor age-related crazing.
- Dimensions: 12 1/4" x 18 1/4" (not including the wooden edge), two 6 5/8" x 8 3/4" tiles, two 5" x 8 3/4"
- Acquired: North Charleston, South Carolina, April 2014