Victorian Barbotine Floral Art Tile


  • Style/technique: Barbotine floral
  • Manufacturer: Sherwin & Cotton
  • Pattern number: RMB108
  • Dimensions: 6" x 6"
  • Date: circa 1885 - 90
  • Colours: 7


A very pleasing barbotine design which near fills the tile. Natural colours, a colour textured background and brilliant glaze combine to create a warm and friendly tile.

The body is of buff plastic clay and a little thicker than usual, the use of plastic clay indicating the tile was made before materials technology improved sufficiently to reliably make barbotine tiles on dust pressed bodies. Verso has a standard Sherwin & Cotton Staffordshire Knot mark with the incised pattern number B 108.

Barbotine is a process whereby moulded tiles may be hand made, the relief being built up by painting on the designs in coloured slip. It is not generally recognised how innovative barbotine tiles were, they didn't compete with typical moulded majolica tiles they predated them. Prior to their advent there were essentially only three types of tiles available, printed and painted flat tiles and 'original majolica' in opaque glazes, when these hit the market around 1885 they were totally new and startlingly different to all other offerings at the time. Other manufacturers tried to copy them using mechanical processes, ie moulded 'modern majolica' but it took a few years of pretty poor efforts before reasonable quality and a range of colours equal to barbotine was achieved. Colours for the barbotine process were limited too, partly because clay fires at a higher temperatues than glaze so less stable colours burn off, nevertheless what appears to us today to be a limited range of colours it wasn't so in 1885. It is presumed that the vast majority of barbotine tiles were made in the period 1885 - 1890 by which time many of the technological hinderances to the production of dust pressed 'modern majolica' tiles had been overcome.


Condition: Excellent
Price: £70 (approx $138)
Ref no: 01083 

Two glaze chips on the top left corner, one very small and about half a dozen very tiny edge chips. A little rubbing to high spots and other very minor surface marks. Very clean, very bright.

UK Special Delivery £78

US and World Airsure £85

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