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Pair of Mintons Studio Embossed Tiles by Marc-Louis Solon


• Style: Classical figures
• Technique: Hand pressed embossed majolica
• Artist: Marc-Louis Solon
• Maker: Mintons
• Dimensions: 6" x 14"
• Date: 1890 (impressed date mark)

A rare and excellent pair of arts & crafts classical figural tiles (or plaques) designed by Marc-Louis Emmanuel Solon for Mintons. Of unusual dimensions and entirely handmade being pressed in to the mould by hand. Featuring maidens in diaphanous robes and the subject of fire with one maiden gleaning and the other tending a brazier.

Marc-Louis Emmanuel Solon (1835 - 1913) was one of several luminaries of the continental porcelain industry attracted to Mintons Ltd. in the late nineteenth century. He was renowned for his pâte sur pâte decoration and considered the leading exponent of the technique which entailed painting with thin layers of porcelain paste to build relief thereby creating a translucent effect unrivalled by any other process. His pâte sur pâte often featured classical maidens and these tiles are typical of the style of his work if not the technique. This pair, and the matching horizontal, are the only tiles verified to be designed by his hand, it is probable that the moulds are his work but likely that at least some were pressed by others in Mintons' studio.

Whilst being hand-pressed in the studio rather than machine pressed in the tile-works they are included in the tile catalogue with the pattern number in the pressed tile sequence rather than that of the studio. This is to be expected for very few tiles were hand moulded by Mintons, or indeed by any other company, so did not naturally fit in to either of the numbering schemes.

They may be seen in the reprinted Mintons catalogue, generally described as circa 1885 but for the most part being from 1883 i.e. up to sheet 24. However the two photographic sheets included are rather later dating from 1891 and the related comments in the introduction erroneous the writer apparently unaware of the dating discrepancy. In a later catalogue these sheets of embossed tiles are in positions 27 and 28.

Given the high relief these tiles are difficult to get good images of. Above is a photo in natural light, below are scans as we normally use, the photo is a bit soft and the scanner as ever a bit harsh but that shows up detail better. Colour is accurate in both dependent on the lighting.


• Condition: Very fine
• Price: £2000 (approx. $2783)
• Stock number: 05695/6


UK Special Delivery £2030

EU Priority £2055

US and World Priority £2080

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As shown in the Mintons catalogue.


Left: minor losses to right edge, a little stain in a crazing line just below top edge, some very light scratches and rubbing.

Right: Some very light scratches and rubbing.


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