This might seem like a repeat post, but it's not. Taylor Tilery (1930 - 1941) made a number of different murals depicting Missions, and Santa Barbara Mission was featured more than once. This mural looks at the Mission from a different perspective, and the design is somewhat more dramatic, with more contrast.
The silk-screened tiles are shown on page 158 of the California Tile, The Golden Era 1910-1940 (vol. 2) as well as on page 257 of the Encyclopedia of American Art Tiles, Region 6. Both panels in the books feature six tiles, not just four. Continue reading
Malibu Potteries (1926 - 1932) produced a huge variety of tiles during its short history. Rufus Keeler who ran Malibu Potteries was very keen on highest quality products and was a fan of experimenting with glazes. Malibu produced a couple of catalogs that were aimed at builders and architects.
This collection of trim tiles was a "rescue" from Malibu fires of 1978. As a matter of fact, these tiles might have survived two fires - the original one in 1932 that destroyed the factory and then the Agoura-Malibu firestorm of 1978. The second fire destroyed whatever was left of the old factory, and tiles were scattered around for many years, sometimes washing up the beach.
This tall stand is surprising. The tiles are undoubtedly made by Taylor Tilery (1930 - 1941), but I suspect that the stand itself - or, at least, the base - was made much later by a woodworker who had a set of vintage tiles lying around.
Taylor has produced a vast array of geometric designs in Moorish and Spanish tradition. Most of them were square, but there are quite a few known examples of roundels consisting of four tiles. This design is documented in Santa Monica Tiles (Taylor Tilery) Catalog Number 2 as "D139." Continue reading
As far as geometric tile tables go, this one is quite unique, both in terms of the tiles and the woodwork. The trestle table is quite large; it's a size of a library table or a writing desk. Blue and yellow rhomboid tiles are laid out in contrasting pattern, with a black center figure that connects to decorative art deco borders. The wooden frame is made of cherry and has interesting turned legs and a carved element on a turned horizontal beam that connects them. Continue reading
This was another one of my "rescues." For the last few decades these beautiful tiles with Mayan and Aztec motives were stuck in someone's garage, covered in dirt and spiders. When I cleaned them and laid them all out, I realized that this was no less than a complete fireplace mantel by Muresque.
Muresque Tiles (1925 - 1935) was a tile company in Oakland, CA, owned by William Muir. The company produced hand-pressed deep-relief tiles, and a lot of the designs were reminiscent of those by Claycraft and Batchelder. Continue reading
I am stretching the limits of my collection here a bit: this is not a tile table. However, it looks like one, if you squint. It was made around the same time that many of the tile tables were - 1920s - 1930s, and it has a wrought iron frame very similar to the ones that most makers would set their tiles into. It is "poor man's Catalina," in the words of the antique dealer I bought it from.
The intricate phoenix (or is it a pheasant?) design is created out of separate pieces of colored linoleum carefully put together in a mosaic. The image is really beautiful, and the colors are bright. The black border "tiles" are also cut out of linoleum, and the grout between them makes it look like the whole thing is a ceramic surface. Continue reading
These vintage hexagon tiles have incredible matte glazes. There is a lot of variation within the tiles of each color, and the speckled glazes are not uniform. The tiles are quite thick (1/2") and are made of white porous clay.
I was told that they were likely made by Calco (1923 - 1932), the pottery company in South Gate, CA, that was started by Rufus Keeler. Keeler later went to work for Malibu Potteries. He was known to be a big fan of experimenting with glazes, especially in rich colors. Continue reading
Almost every tile company in the 1930s - Taylor, Tudor, Hispano-Moresque, D. & M. - had their version of the Racetrack design. They differed slightly in the choices of colors and texture of the glazes. Caltiles.com has a great comparison of a few different versions of this shared design.
This particular set of tiles was done by Taylor as evidenced by the colors and very shiny glazes. The design appears on page 239 of the California Tile, The Golden Era 1910-1940 (vol. 2) and page 265 of the Encyclopedia of American Art Tiles, Region 6. It's also shown in Santa Monica Tiles (Taylor Tilery) Catalog Number 2 as "25-A Cor." Continue reading
The tiles for this table were made by Hispano-Moresque Tile Company of Los Angeles (1927 - 1934). The company's showroom was grandiose, but it is still unclear where the tiles were produced. It's possible that Hispano-Moresque used the D. & M. factory for their production, and that would explain a lot of the similarities in the decoration of these two companies' tiles. The tiles with this particular design are shown set into a Monterey Prohibition-era bar on page 217 of the California Tile, The Golden Era 1910-1940 (vol. 2). Continue reading
This four-tile design was created by Taylor Tilery (1930 - 1941). The Moorish tiles use only 3 glaze colors - black, orange, and mustard-yellow - yet they manage to create an appearance of a flame bursting out of the center of the table.
This design is well-documented; it appears both on page 267 of the Encyclopedia of American Art Tiles, Region 6 and page 165 of the California Tile, The Golden Era 1910-1940 (vol. 2). However, the tiles shown in both of the books have two additional orange dots per tile. It's fairy common to see some variation in the design of the tiles coming from the same manufacturer. Continue reading
Not much to say about this one. It's compact, and the bright, glossy red and black glazes really pop. I really like the wrought iron frame with the twisted stretcher bar; it's almost Gothic in style.
I keep telling myself that it's made by Catalina, but in reality it could have been made by any of the tile manufacturers across the US. Continue reading
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
This is one of my favorite floral geometric tile tables. I had to reach out to a number of tile experts to identify it until a few finally confirmed that it was made by Taylor Tilery (1930 - 1941). Cuerda seca technique was used to separate gorgeous matte glazes that decorate six light-beige tiles surrounded by green border tiles and contrasting light-brown corner tiles. The mottled red glaze is particularly pretty. Continue reading
Taylor Tilery (1930 - 1941, also known as Santa Monica Brick Company) produced at least a dozen designs depicting Spanish and Mexican dancers. Tile tables were hugely popular in early 1930s, and Taylor was working closely with a few furniture makers in Los Angeles area.
This table has a six-tile cuerda seca ("dry line") mural surrounded by green border tiles with contrasting black corners and set in a simple wooden frame. The tiles are fortunately in fantastic condition with what I think might be original terracotta grout.
This particular scene is somewhat more common with a different set of glazes. The background is usually yellow and the man's outfit is blue, as shown on page 152 of the California Tile, The Golden Era 1910-1940 (vol. 2). The design on my table has fewer glaze colors than the other version but is equally striking. Continue reading
Tudor Potteries operated in Los Angeles between 1927 and 1939. They produced a wide range of decorative tiles in Spanish, Moorish, and Persian designs. Their catalog from June 1931 lists corner, center, and border tiles that could be combined to create an "endless variety of patterns." This table is representative of Tudor's bright and cheerful colors: orange, yellow, turquoise, blue.
This particular pattern appears in June 1931 Tudor catalog. Design IDB, which has a slightly different arrangement of colors, is shown in the catalog picture, and IDC is mentioned as having the red and blue glazes interchanged. Continue reading
Taylor 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. Continue reading
Tudor Potteries operated in Los Angeles between 1927 and 1939. They produced a wide range of decorative tiles in Spanish, Moorish, and Persian designs. Their catalog from June 1931 lists corner, center, and border tiles that could be combined to create an "endless variety of patterns." Tudor is known for brightly colored tiles: orange, yellow, turquoise were commonly used. 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
D. & M. Tile Company operated in Los Angeles from 1928 until 1939 and produced a number of designs that depicted horses - horse carriages, polo players, horse racers. This table shows a horse-drawn carriage made out of two tiles and set in a wrought iron frame. Continue reading
Taylor Tilery (1930 - 1941, also known as Santa Monica Brick Company) produced a series of designs showing California missions, including Santa Barbara Mission. What's unique about this table is that it is much bigger than other known Santa Barbara Mission examples. Continue reading