AN EXHIBITION OF PILKINGTON’S TILES

1893 - 2002

BURY MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY


 

Bury Museum & Art Gallery held an exhibition of Pilkington's tiles loaned by members of Pilkington's Lancastrian Pottery Society. Most of the loan items are shown here.

No.

Notes

Date

Size in inches


1

This is a ship tile,the reverse shows "P.T. 1376/2".

Many artists decorated tube lined tiles. The most celebrated being Edmund Kent. There is no evidence to indicate that tiles with a raised series of dots are by Kent. Less than a dozen of his signed tiles are known.

c.1928

 4 x 4


3

Another example of a tube lined tile.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1930

 4 x 4


4

The heraldic theme continued throughout Pilkington’s production. This example is one of the few tiles that correspond to a known tile catalogue.

1930

4 x 4

5

11

 

Unsigned. The tube line work is of a very fine quality. The sailing ship may be "The Golden Hind".

A similar design to the "Viking" tile is illustrated in Cross’s work. It depicts a larger panel to be used in "entrances and hallways".

The date of these tiles is based on that illustration. The tile back is of a later kind though neither is marked.

1930

12 x 6

6

See 10

1930

6 x 6

7

Sample cabinet containing a range of plain glazes. Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1970


8 - 9

Commercial travellers’ samples

1930

4 x 4

10
11

Ships have always been a popular choice. Pilkington’s designers produced pottery wares depicting ships and many of their designs may be found at Salford Museum and Art Gallery in the W.S. Mycock design archive. Mycock began work at Pilkington’s in the first period of tile production and was initially engaged to work on tiles. We do not know if Mycock designed these tiles. An illustration in Cross shows Edmund Kent working on a "ship" tile. Designs for tiles depicting ships are found early in the Pilkington’s production range. For example there are printed designs for ships in the first factory records. A design by A.L.Duthie and John Chambers named "Argosies" was exhibited by Pilkington’s in the 1902 Wolverhampton Exhibition. Cross notes that Voysey also designed a "ship" tile for Pilkington’s – The Vikings – see this exhibition for a tile that may have been influenced by this design.

1930

6 x 6

12

A sailing ship by CFA Voysey - one of two ship designs by Voysey.

c1900

6 x 6

13

This is a very typical deco tile. Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

1930

6 x 6

14

This is a very bold tile in the art deco style.

1930

6 x 6

15

This is a classic art deco design that especially suits Pilkington’s favoured orange vermilion glaze which is captured within the tube lined relief slip.

1926

4 x 4

16

Another fine tube lined tile in the style of a poppy. The RD number 227296 dates the design to 1894.

c.1900

6 x 6

17

Pilkington’s design book features several landscape scenes this is transfer printed. Pilkington's exported blanks for decoration by other companies perhaps the most celebrated of these being Currier and Ives in America.

1910

6 x 6

18

Transfer printed lake scene.

1900

6 x 6

19

The Tudor rose was used frequently in Pilkington’s designs.

1910

2 x 6

20

No artist is known - similar in style to the work of LF Day or J H Rudd.

1902

6 x 6

21

A stylised flower representation.

1909

6 x 6

22

This tile was part of a group of 3 - probably for a fireplace.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1900

3 x 6

23

The RD number for this tile dates the design to 1894 though the back might indicate a slightly later production date. There is a faint iridescence to the glaze.

1894

6 x 6

24

This is a rather weak design. The RD number indicates a date after 1909.

1910

6 x 6

25

Hand painted mountain scene. See earlier examples of these landscape scenes.

The tile may well be unique. The back has been cut in a most unusual manner with diamond and cross - cut routing.


1900

12 x 6

26

Two classic Art Nouveau design tiles of cyclamen.

1900

3 x 3

27

LF Day design.

1896

6 x 6

28

This tile depicts a tulip in an Art Nouveau style. It has been attributed to C.F.A.Voysey by several authorities and is very similar in style to Voysey’s "Tulip Tree" which was illustrated in the catalogue for the Glasgow Exhibition in 1901.

1902

6 x 6

29

Panel consisting of 4 moulded tiles decorated with stylised flowers. These were most probably used in fireplaces.

Courtesy Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museum.

c.1905

6 x 24

30

This work may have been executed specifically for a shop display or for a fireplace. A part tile to accompany this scene is included in this exhibit – courtesy of Salford Museum and Art Gallery. Richard Joyce specialised in the design of ware featuring fish and may well have been the designer of these tiles. A signed panel is know which was painted by the artist Albert Hall.

1910

12 x 6

31

This delicate panel may well have been placed in the side cheeks of a fireplace or used in a wall panel. Courtesy Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museum

1930

3 x 18

32

This is another pattern book design - E598. It is a set of four tiles, which illustrates how the border decorations were intended to be used.

1900

12 x 12

33

This is an early printed tile. The main interest is that it came from a house that used to stand opposite Pilkington’s on the site of what was Rhodes Farm and became the offices of Bolton Sewage works. It also shows the effect of heat damage on a tile.

1900

6 x 6

34

This kind of printed tile and others are illustrated in an early factory pattern book and most of them have a factory design number beginning with an E. Detailed descriptions of the commercial colours offered may be found in the pattern book.

1910

6 x 6

35

The quality of Pilkington’s printed tiles is illustrated in this very vivid image of stylised flower heads.

1905

6 x 6

36

Set of 4 transfer printed tiles showing the effect of the matching pattern. This pattern is illustrated in the early print pattern design book.

Courtesy Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museum.

c.1905

12 x 12

38

Calendar tiles were introduced by Lawrence Burton as an advertising feature. They remained popular and are now collectable.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

1954

6 x 6

41

A stylised flower head that would have worked together as a repeating pattern.

1910

6 x 6

42

A poppy modelled in low relief.

1910

6 x 6

43

This tile is more "Victorian" than many Pilkington’s tiles. Judging by the many copies available it was very popular. Carved by A.J.Kwiatkowski

1900

12 x 6

44

A quartered tile which was a favourite effect of the period.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1900

6 x 6

45

Moulded stylised lily with 3 heads contained in a decorative cartouche with corner quarters that would form part of a repeating pattern.

1910

6 x 6

46

It is hard to see how this tile could have been regarded as decorative but it may have been used in fireplaces where it will have been well lit.

1900

6 x 6

47

Moulded tile depicting stylised flower and leaves.

Courtesy Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museum.

c.1910

6 x 6

48

49

50

These tiles were probably designed under the direction of T.B. Jones who worked as Head of Design at Pilkington’s after the 2nd World War.

They are featured in an advertising booklet for Pilkington’s fireplaces.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1950

6 x 6

51

Probably a dado/border tile -rather dull.

1890

3 x 6


52

This could be a pen tray or a border tile, but as the reverse is glazed a pen tray is more likely.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1900

6 x 2


53

Tube lined or moulded border tile.

1960

1 x 6


54

Tube lined or moulded border tile.

1959

2 x 6


55

Border tile in Persian style, probably designed by John Chambers.

1900

1 x 6


56

4 different moulded tiles. These are stated to be by Pilkington’s but the backs show unusual markings.

Courtesy Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museum.

c.1900

3 x 3


57

These small tiles are noted as being a Pilkington’s registered design (Cross). These particular tiles have a local connection. They were removed from a fireplace in a house in Prestwich which belonged to the Pilkington family. The fine border tiles are all very clearly marked. They appear tube lined but because they are identical it is more likely they were made from a mould.

1900

3 x 3


58

"The letter writer" - This tile is illustrated in Cross and is by A.J.Kwiatkowski. Kwiatkowski’s granddaughter is a member of Pilkington’s Lancastrian Pottery Society and is keen to find out information about her grandfather. Anyone who can help should contact the Society. "Jo" Kwiatkowski would not have been asked to begin work at such an illustrious company if he was not already held in high regard.

c.1900

6 x 10


59

60

The technique has been described as "emaux ombrants" (shadow enamel) and was a speciality of the tile manufacturer Craven Dunnill. It is considered these are Pilkington’s as the tile back is keyed in exactly the same manner as a "Bury" tile and it has the "feel" of Pilkington’s.

c.1900

6 x 12


61

This incredible tile is almost certainly an initial design for part of the reredos at Ashton Albion Congregational Church installed in 1920. The tile features the very best of tube line work and the border is in a classic orange vermilion glaze. It was designed by Gordon Forsyth.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

1920

12 x 18


62

These modelled tiles are exceptionally attractive. Several are known and shown in this exhibition. The depth of colour and the skill of the moulding allows the glaze to flood more deeply into some place than others and this is used to highlight aspects of the design.  Designed by Florence Steele.
Steele was a worker in silver but she designed several tiles for the company around 1900.

1900

6 x 6


63

Woman and chickens, see comment above.

1900

6 x 6


64

A pair of tiles in deep relief showing a standing winged cherub set against a column and holding a wreath. Many tile companies of the period produced similar designs to this which were used as feature tiles, fireplace tiles or in furniture. These are part of a frieze by A.J.Kwiatkowski.

1910

12 x 6


65

Another example of a moulded "picture" tile.  Thought to be by A.J. by Kwiatkowski.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1900

6 x 12


66

67

These lustre tiles may have been designed as furniture or fireplace inserts.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1900

8 x 8


70

The print for this tile is found in the factory records with a design reference of E525. Designed by Ernest Evans a freelance designer.

1900

12 x 6


71

Another stylised art nouveau flower – it is easy to see the influence of Voysey in these designs.

1904

6 x 6


72

A typical art nouveau tile. It has RD 440215 on the reverse. Courtesy Bury Museum and Art Gallery

1900

3 x 6


73

This is an example of the tube line style. Tube lining involved laying a line of slip along the decoration, which acts as a wall to contain coloured glazes. It is often difficult to tell the difference between a tube lined tile and a tile modelled in low relief, which is achieved by using a mould. The mould itself may have been created from a tube lined tile. Because the tube line process is done by hand no two tiles will be identical. Identical tiles, which appear to be tube lined, may be compared for variations. If there are no variations it indicates that a mould was used. This tile is of a classic art nouveau design. However the tile is stamped "Made in England" which probably indicates this is a 1930’s copy.

c.1930

6 x 6


75

Part of a design by Mucha titled "The Lily". This tile panel was exhibited at the 1901 Glasgow Exhibition. John Chambers, Miss Tyldesley and Miss Briggs painted it. The original full panel was 3ft 6 in by 18 in.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1900

6 x 12


76

77

Tile TF 543 was priced at 10 shillings. By comparison Jessie Jones, a famous "lady" artist at Pilkington’s, commenced work in 1907 for 7 shillings a week.

Tiles in a Persian style picked out with Rhodian red blobs of glaze, were 5 shillings each. Courtesy Bury Museum and Art Gallery


6 x 6


78

c.1900



79

This very exotic plant tile bears a Registered Design (RD) number on the reverse, which indicates a date around 1900. Cross ascribes its design to Lewis Day. The curving leaves and the sensuous nature of the flower are not unlike the "Lily" tile by Day also in this exhibition.

1900

12 x 6


80

The RD number 418023 indicates the design year. The stylised grapes and leaves are finely worked.

1903

6 x 6


81

John Chambers designed these small Persian tiles. This one was probably intended for fire surrounds. Courtesy Bury Museum and Art Gallery

1900

3 x 3


82

Courtesy Bury Museum and Art Gallery

1900

6 x 6


83

A finely executed tile in Persian style. Pilkington’s produced several designs in this style and other examples may be seen at Manchester City Art Gallery and The Peter Scott Gallery at Lancaster University.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1900

8 x 8


84

Lustre tile.


6 x 6


85

Gold lustre on blue ground – moulded tile – not marked but bears typical Pilkington’s combed back.

c.1905

6 x 14


86

Lustre tile


6 x 6


87

Another excellently worked lustre tile with an eagle device. This tile was priced at 3 shillings, again at least a days' pay for many. Small infill tile probably used for fireplaces. Courtesy Bury Museum and Art Gallery

c.1900 both

6 x 3


88

The tiles exhibited from Bury Museum’s collection were acquired in 1909 and many have unique backs. Several show the price and help confirm the provenance of other tiles. Not all are marked but they undoubtedly "feel" like Pilkington’s and may have been given by Pilkington’s who donated several items of pottery at this time. Courtesy Bury Museum and Art Gallery


3 x 3


89

Lustre tile


6 x 6


90

This small tile appears to be similar to those used in the fireplace exhibited in the 1908 Franco British Exhibition. An example of a larger work by Hall is illustrated in Cross and the tree has similarities to this. Lustre tiles - to capture the light from a fire - were very popular particularly in the grander fireplaces that graced the homes illustrated in the foremost Art Journal of the day "The Studio".

1900

3 x 6


91

Excellent lustre tile. Plastic body. Typical lion rampant - a favourite heraldic device in gold lustre that has worked exceptionally well. This tile was priced at 5 shillings, which was 2 or 3 days’ pay at the time. Various designers have been suggested for this tile. It was ascribed to Voysey and Richard Joyce when it featured in the 1908 Franco British Exhibition - set in a fireplace designed by J H Sellars. Heraldic designs featured strongly on both pottery and tiles. A series of designs entitled "heraldic" may be found in the Mycock archive at Salford. One of the earliest tile designs by Lewis Day featuring an image of this type was shown at the Wolverhampton Exhibition in 1902.

These are classic Pilkington’s lustre tiles made from a plastic body. Gordon Forsyth noted "the simplest thing one can make is a "plastic" tile. The term plastic is used because it is made by hand from soft clay, and not by the "dust" process, as is commonly the practice in mass produced pressed tiles."  Courtesy Bury Museum and Art Gallery

c.1900

6 x 6


92

Lustre tile.


6 x 6


94

Border tile in lustre with an iridescent glaze. The thickness of the tile indicates the probable date.

1910

1 x 6


95

An example of a lustre tile that has fired badly in the kiln. The decoration on these early plastic lustre tiles is variable. Kilns were coal fired and the skilled kilnsman was a valued employee. Some lustre tiles of this period have no discernible decoration except a jumbled mass of colours – this one for example..

1900

3 x 3


96

Stylised Tudor rose.

1900

3 x 3


97

A small lustre tile probably designed as a fireplace insert. The heart motif and the scale designs were also found on pottery.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1900

3 x 3


98

The design and lustre on this tile seems to have failed - a form of stylised fleur de lys can be made out.

1900

3 x 3


99

Designed for furniture or fireplace inserts these stylised leaves are in a lustre glaze.

1900

3 x 3


100

Another tile in the Persian style - probably designed by John Chambers but in this case it has a lustre finish.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1900

6 x 6


101

A lustre tile reminiscent of the de Morgan style - peacocks were a favourite of several Pilkington’s artists especially Gordon Forsyth.

Courtesy Salford Museum and Art Gallery

c.1900

6 x 6


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