Tile Item Number: 3401/13 from the MOA: University of British Columbia


Square ceramic tile painted cream with dark brown floral and geometric motifs overtop. Surface and sides are glazed, back partially glazed. Quarter circles in tile corners with geometric designs inside. Plain brown line border, next to wider band with white interlocking line inside it. Central design of a large flower with multiple offshoots. Overtop of flower is a cross, dividing tile into four sections. Cross arms made up of two lines- a plain one and one with slanted Greek key motif. Raised grid across entire back of tile. Inscriptions, handwritten and stamped, on back.

Iconographic Meaning

Chrysanthemum blossom are depicted which symbolize geniality and Autumn. The registration on the backside dates the pattern between 1888 and 1889.

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.