Tile Item Number: 3401/1 from the MOA: University of British Columbia


Square ceramic tile with curvilinear and floral motifs painted on front. Background is mostly red-brown. Red-brown tapers inwards towards the top, with the top corners of the tile painted beige. Bottom third of tile painted dark brown. Overtop brown and red, in beige, are the curvilinear and floral motifs. Sides of tile undecorated. Twenty five holes, in rows of five by five, indented on back of tile. Manufacturer’s mark, Minton & Co., stamped on back.

Iconographic Meaning

Design is an imitation of English medieval tile patterns.

Specific Techniques

Encaustic manufacture, an inlay technique, which consist of clay being pressed into a mold to form a relief. One or more colours of slip clay are then poured into the imprinted design and levelled. The bulk of the tile is composed of a courser clay that was inserted between the imprinted pattern on top and a similar finer clay on the bottom. After the clays dry, which can take up to three weeks, they are fired together. The holes on the back are for aerating.

Cultural Context

Floor tile, Minton & Co.