About this object

Cultural context

Wall tile. Mintons China Works.

Iconographic meaning

The tile shows Japanese influence, incorporating Japanese iconography, a trend that was popular in Victorian tiles at the time. The floating flowers are cherry blossoms, a Japanese national emblem. The bird is likely meant to be a crane, a Japanese symbol of longevity. The flowers inside the circular frame are, carnations, a symbol of love.

Specific techniques

Tile was manufactured by dust-pressing, a technique that uses clay milled to a fine powder with low moisture content, then pressed in a die at high pressure. The design was transfer printed, a technique in which an image from an engraved plate is transferred to a tile, usually, requiring transfer paper to be run through a printing press with the engraved plate to pick up the ink, the design from the transfer paper could then be rubbed onto the tile.

Physical description

Square ceramic tile painted white with dark blue designs overtop. Surface and sides are glazed. Entire background is a meander-like design. Quarter circles in each corner, with scalloped edges and floral motifs inside of them. Small white flowers depicted across surface, with three large circles towards centre of tile. Circles have scalloped edges, with loops, and floral motifs inside of them. The circle closet to the left edge has a crane. Five horizontal ridges on back of tile. Manufacturer’s mark, Mintons China Works, stamped in between ridges. Inscription on back.