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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Square ceramic tile painted cream with dark brown designs overtop. Surface and sides are glazed. Plain line border along all edges. Tile divided into four sections with plain lines. Top right and bottom left sections have same design. Abstract sun in centre of square sections, surrounded by four smaller star-like designs in the corners. Top left and bottom right sections have similar design. Large quarter circles take up majority of the squares. Quarter circle in the top left section comes to a point in top right corner. Quarter circle in the bottom right section comes to a point in top left corner. Both circles have floral motifs inside them. The top left quarter circle has a white band along its edge, the bottom right one has a dark brown band. Next to the circles, in both sections, are butterflies with angular wings. Five horizontal ridges on back of tile. Manufacturer’s mark, Maw & Co. Ld., stamped between ridges.

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.

Cultural Context

Wall tile.

Iconographic Meaning

The flowers with the frilled edges are carnations, an emblem of the Virgin Mary. For Victorians, chrysanthemums, the round symmetrical flowers, were a symbol of love. Butterflies could be a symbol of the soul or of life.

Item History

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