Rare 8" Copeland Art Tile, Shakespeare
  • Style/technique: Pictorial printed and painted blue and white
  • Manufacturer: Copeland
  • Dimensions: 8" x 8"
  • Date: circa 1875


One of a pictorial series from Copeland featuring scenes from Shakespeare's plays, this from the comedy 'Twelfth Night'. Malvolio (literally ill will) is the butt of many jokes in the play as in this scene. A fun and rare tile, with it's 8" square size and strong design and colours it displays very well and makes a great talking point.

The series is more often seen painted in full colour or just the outline transfer this is a blue transfer print hand painted with two shades of blue. Why paint in a similar colour as the print? This popular shade of blue, cobalt blue, when printed with strength was likely to leech in to the glaze creating a blurred effect, technically a fault. The effect is known as flow blue and is popular in its own right and very appealing in many patterns but in figural work the loss of detail can be detracting. Quality decorators of ceramics would therefore print the outline and paint in the colours so they did not blur so much when firing the glaze. This is a rarely seen means of achieving a crisp yet full blue and white tile and we have only seen a handful of examples.

Condition: Very Good

Price: £195 ($380)

Ref: 01505

There is one medium and several smaller edge chips, a short, about one inch, hairline near the top right corner, light surface marks that can only be seen when viewed tilted towards the light.

UK Special Delivery £204

US and World Airsure £215

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The image is full size at 72 dpi (about 560 pixels wide) in maximum quality JPEG format.

The image is a little oversize rather than cropped close to the edges so that the edges can easily be seen and any chips etc can be quickly spotted. Surface marks described are usually not visible at all when the tile is viewed straight as one normally sees it and can only be seen with a critical eye when the tile is tilted to catch imperfections in reflected light. For more details of how we describe marks see Condition.

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