- Museum number
Earthenware tile, solid red body, inlaid with buff and covered with a clear glaze, featuring a Bishop's mitre. Maker's mark on reverse.
- Production date
Length: 152 millimetres
Width: 152 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This tile was designed by the stained-glass designer and writer on heraldry Thomas Willement for York Minster, where work was finished in 1845. A printed pamphlet of 'Specimens of Charmberlain & Co. Tiles' is in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Victoria and Albert Museum (E3649-1927, pressmark CT113) and this design appears on a sheet entitled 'Arms and Devices' and is annotated by hand 'designed by T. Willement Esq. for the late Archbishop's Tomb in York Cathedral'. The design also appears as no. 61 in an 1844 catalogue of 'The Worcester Encaustic Tiles manufactured by F. St. John, G. Barr, and Co. Worcester', which is in the National Art Library at the V & A (the design is again annotated as being by Willement).
Chamberlain's was known for its fine porcelain since its founding in 1786, and in 1836 the Worcester architect Harvey Eginton urged Walter Chamberlain to make inalid tiles using the process developed by Samuel Wright, see K. Beaulah, 'Church Tiles of the Nineteenth Century', Aylesbury, 1987, p. 9. In 1844, Samuel Wright sold his patent for encaustic tilemaking in equal shares to Minton & Co. and Chamberlain's Worcester, under the names of Fleming St. John and George Barr. Initially Minton concentrated on perfecting the encaustic technique which allowed Chamberlain's, for a short time, to enjoy a monopoly of commercial success in its manufacture. Like Minton, the firm engaged the services of well-known architects to produce designs for their tiles; architects such as L. N. Cottingham, F. J. Francis and J. St. Aubyn were all associated with the firm.
By 1850, the firm's fortunes foundered, probably overtaken in quality and quantity by Minton & Co., and was bought out by Maw & Co. Maw moved to Brosely in 1852, but continued to make some popular designs that had initially been produced by Chamberlain's. The relatively short production period of Chamerblain's tiles means that they are now very rare.
- On display (G47/dc10)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number