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Rare Steele & Wood Shakespeare Tile

• Condition: Excellent
• Price: £125 (approx. $167)
• Stock number: 07066

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Largish corner chip verso appears as tiny chip top left corner on the face, some slight marks near the rim as if from a frame, three glaze misses at the rim.


There must be a dozen or more Shakespeare series on tile from this period this to my mind being the greatest on six inch tiles. Finely engraved and printed in dark brown with a subtlety of touch not found on competing series (one wonders how it could be that the inferior Mintons series was so popular were it not for the marketing power of the Minton brand), designed by the noted artist Henry Stacy Marks and bearing his initials. Two tiles from this series are shown in Terence Lockett's Collecting Victorian Tiles this fine maker as oft unattributed but the artist recognised.

Steele & Wood was an early tile maker active in the 1870s and 80s that was considerably more prolific than generally thought due to lack of identification on the generic back patterns they most often used and few design registrations. With a casual look its most often seen grip pattern is similar to that of Wedgwood and so the tiles are often attributed however there is a clear and distinct difference which is quite obvious, that tiles are attributed to Wedgwood is sheer laziness and wish to attribute to a famous name. Steele & Wood was in the forefront of design in the 1870s and 1880s with many bold characteristic contemporary patterns, it was active in technical experimentation developments too. An underestimated company who rarely appear in the literature, as more of their tiles are identified its recognition will surely grow.

Verso very clean, unmarked.


• Style: Classical pictorial
• Technique: Transfer print
• Maker: Henry Stacy Marks (artist)
• Maker: Steele & Wood (factory)
• Dimensions: 6" x 6"
• Date: 1880 (circa)



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