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Small Tiles

with either width or height less than six inches

 

Most small tiles were quite plain, to put between 6" x 6" tiles to emphasis the major tiles and not to be so decorative that they detract from them although some 6" x 3" tiles were made to match 6" x 6" with smaller, compacted versions of the same pattern. There are also border tiles which can be quite decorative and run horizontally or vertically.

From near the start of the Edwardian era through to the 1930s tube line 3" x 6" tiles were popular usually used in a spread of plain tiles of similar dimensions in slabbed fireplace cheeks and glued to boards in washstands, 3" x 3" tiles were often used in a similar way. These were often limited edition art nouveau tube line tiles and around the peak of popularity of the style in1905 new designs were produced on regular basis, certainly monthly, perhaps even weekly. These are amongst the most unusual avant garde designs made in tile and often use brilliantly rich colours and other technically difficult colours, a good collection can create a brilliant and evocative display in a small space.

Tube line did have one distinct advantage over moulding, the line could be done in a different colour. A white clay body was preferred to show the colours off to their best but a white outline could look too bright against the deeper colours. Many tube line tiles have a coloured outline, most often brown then green, rarely two colours would be used depending on the intensity of the surrounding glaze colours. White tubeline was usually only done when the colours where pale, very rarely a brilliant white tube line was used as a deliberate element in the overall design. A few tube line designs proved so popular in their time that they were subsequently made in moulded form too.

Decorative tiles were made in other dimensions too but quite rarely, 2" x 4" and 6" tall tiles but just 2" or 1.5" wide. Some tiles were also purpose made for stoves, these may be even more irregular in dimensions. Some 4" x 4" decorative tiles were made in the 19thC, this became a more popular size in the 20thC. Also 4 1/4" square tiles were made in the 19thC, the diagonal being 6" this size was usually used in the offset or diamond orientation.

 

 

 

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