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Gothic Arts & Crafts Doulton Tile


Condition: Very good
Price: £65 (approx $103)
Stock number: 03807B

UK Special Delivery £73

EU Airsure £77

US and World Airsure £81

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Chip bottom corner and a few very tiny rim chips, one very short scratch otherwise perfect surface.


• Style/technique: Gothic arts & crafts
• Manufacturer: Doulton Lambeth
• Dimensions: 6" x 6"
• Date: circa 1880


A true arts and crafts decorated tile entirely handpainted and with a small group to compare can say unequivocally freehand painted without use of a stencil or other guide. A simple gothic fleur de lis like design in the medieval taste with a painted outline in warm brown and the background washed with deep olive green. The biscuit has an oatmeal texture colouring with different ingredients and probably relatively fine grog in the clay which although dust pressed maintains the arts & crafts feel.

We purchased a few dozen tiles in total from the same building in Windsor and there is quite a unique feel to them. They appear to be made deliberately to appear archaic with imperfections being intended to add to the authenticity. I have certainly seen tiles by Copeland deliberately made as replicas perhaps to repair as in a 19thC restoration of an earlier building and these have that same aura of replica rather than reproduction or copy. The tips of the edges are uneven deliberately in manufacture and in the nature of the clay used, the colour and glaze does not always properly reach the edge and there is little spill of the colour or glaze down the side edges, these are all not defects but are clearly intended in manufacture.

The design being offset or diagonal may have been intended to be fixed diagonally or perhaps as a group of four the design radiating from the centre or even as a border alternating to left hand and right hand. When displayed for collectors or as a feature tile set diagonally there is an optical illusion in terms of size the tile looks larger than six inch indeed comparable to an eight inch tile square on. Briefly this is because our eyes scan the horizontal as the primary dimension, the world is horizontal, it soon runs out when one looks up, and our eyes are set side by side rather than one above the other. With this effect offset designs can fill more space whether displayed on a wall or set in to a splashback.

The biscuit marked Doulton & Co Lambeth is not believed to have been made by them but for them perhaps by Webbs of Worcester or George Marsden and is very similar to that often used by Wedgwood who again appear to have bought in most if not all of their biscuit and tiles. There is no record of Doulton manufacturing any tiles indeed Doulton are known to have had trading relationships with several major tilemakers of the day as one would expect they being major sanitaryware manufacturers and installers. Doulton became well known as tile decorators and for art pottery following the establishment of a studio at the Lambeth pottery in 1871.

Handwritten although faded there is 175 presumably the pattern number and artist's initials EM. Another of these has 1/6 written in pencil in the script style of the times, another tile of a different pattern from the same source also has a handwritten price of 2/-. These will be the prices per tile being far too low for a dozen or yard the other ways that tiles were priced and are about what one would expect being 2 - 3 times the price of a typical Staffordshire tinted print tile and a little more than half of the price of a Wm de Morgan handpainted tile.

In good condition overall the glaze surface being absolutely super. There is some chipping to and around the bottom corner and a tiny chip at the top corner, other minute marks to the rim are both in manufacturing and subsequent so impossible and unimportant to suggest when and how.


The image is full size at 72 dpi (about 430 pixels wide) in maximum quality JPEG format and on screen is about the size as it would be in real life at the same distance. A larger 120 dpi image also in maximum quality JPEG format can be forwarded by email if required.

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. Other 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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