Cyclopedia Topic: 


Cyclopedia Title: 

Victorian Tile Manufacturers
and Their Marks

Cyclopedia Subtitle: 

How to identify Victorian tiles

Cyclopedia Main Image: 
How to identify Victorian tiles
Cyclopedia Introduction: 
There is a reason why we care about Victorian tiles. Tile making, as it appeared in the third decade of the nineteenth century, was the earliest attempt to marry art and mass production. Victorian tiles, therefore, give us a rare insight on the nature of beauty and style in our society. This is where any meaningful discussion of interior design should begin.

The list contains main British tile manufacturers from 1830s to 1910s. The following sources have been used: G.A. Godden, Encyclopaedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks, 1964; Llewellynn Jewitt, The Ceramic Art of Great Britian, 2nd ed. 1883; Julian Barnard, Victorian Ceramic Tiles, 1972; W. J. Furnival, Leadless Decorative Tiles, Faience and Mosaic, 1904; Rosamond Allwood, Victorian Tiles, 1978 and Terence A. Lockett, Collecting Victorian Tiles, 1979.

Cyclopedia Main Text: 
Adams & Bromley, c.1895, tile decorators.
No known wares or marks.
Adams & Cartlidge Ltd., Vine Street, Hanley, Straffordshire, c.1900-1910.

Successors to Sherwin & Cotton in the production of George Cartlidge's moulded portrait tiles.

A.M. Ltd., England, c.1908+.
No known wares or marks.
Architectural Pottery Co., Poole, Dorset, c. 1854-1895.

Founded by T.S. Ball, John Ridgway (of the famous family of china manufacturers of Cauldon Place, Hanley), T.R. Sanders and F.G. Sanders. From 1861 the latter two ran the firm. The company produced a wide range of encaustic and wall tiles. In Kelly's London Directory 1876, they had a London agency at 11 Adam St., The Adelphi. Bought out by Carter & Co. in 1895.

Art Tile Co., Dudley, c.1900.
No known wares or marks.
Art Tileries, Stourbridge, Worcestershire, c.1895. Tile decorators.
No known wares or marks.
J.H. Barrett & Co., Boothen Works, Stoke-on-Trent, c.1896-1924+.

Successors to Adams & Cartlidge and Sherwin & Cotton in the production of Cartlidge's portrait tiles.

Marks: the firm's name. Also probably 'J H B' in monogram on printed tiles.
Barry & Co., Woodville Tile Works, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, c.1880.
No known wares or marks.
Bates, Dewbury & Co., Mayer St., Hanley, c. 1900.
No known wares or marks.
Birch Tile Co. Ltd., Clarence St., Hanley, c.1900.
No known wares or marks.
J.M. Blashfield, 1840-1875.

Early maker of encaustic tiles in London. Also, produced "terracotta as applied to every purpose, glazed or enamelled tiles enamelled architectural enrichments for internal use".

Thomas & Richard Boote Ltd., Burslem, established 1842.

Produced 'patent ironstone' and other china. They made many coloured glaze tiles of a good standard and colourful architectural schemes. Patented a process for dust-pressing encaustic tiles in 1863. Had a London showroom at Waltham Buildings.

T.G. & F. Booth, Church Bank Pottery, Tunstall, 1883-1891.

They later became Booths Ltd., general earthenware manufacturers. Specialised in transfer printed art tiles.

Broseley Tileries, Broseley, Salop, c.1860-c.1920.

Probably only geometrical and encaustic tiles. Responsible for the flooring tiles at the Royal Academy and Lincoln's Inn.

No known wares or marks.
Robert Brown & Co., Paisley Earthenware Works, 1876-1933.

This was an extension of Ferguslie Fire-Clay Works established in 1839.

Brown Westhead, Moore & Co., Cauldon Place, Hanley, 1862-1904.
Mark: the firm's name and 'Hanley, Ravenscroft Patent.'
Burmantofts Faience, Messrs. Wilcox & Co. Ltd., Leeds, 1882-1887.

From 1887-1904 Holroyd & Armitage. Much architectural work in coloured glazes, for example panels on the side of the Midland Hotel, Manchester. Also makers of art pottery. Terracotta production was continued after 1904 by the Leeds Fire-Clay Co. Ltd.

T.W. Camm, 1866-1870.

Later were known as Camm Bros., Smethwick, Staffordshire, c.1870-1880. Decorators only of painted tiles "allegorical and historical" in subject.

Marks: the firm's name, possibly also the initials 'C. * B.'
Campbell Brick & Tile Company (later Campbell Tile Co.), 1875 to 1968.

Later became part of H. & R. Johnson-Richards Tiles Ltd. Founded by Colin Minton Campbell of Mintons China Works and Robert Minton Taylor, to produce encaustic and geometric floor tiles in opposition to Minton Hollins & Co. Soon branched out into many types of tiles though architectural decoration was their speciality. They had a London showroom at 206 Gt. Portland St. West as early as 1876 described in Kelly's Directory as a "depot for ornamental tiles, encaustic, majolica earthenware, plain, painted and enamelled". In 1896 the address is given as 340 Gray's Inn Road.

Carter & Co. Ltd., Poole, Dorset, established 1873.

From 1921 traded as Carter, Stabler & Adams Ltd., Poole Pottery. Specialised in glazed tile murals and architectural schemes, plain floor tiles and terracotta from local clay. Exported wares to Canada and elsewhere. Had a London showroom in 1890 at 43 Essex St., Strand.

Carter Johnson & Co., St. George's Tile Works, Worcester, c.1871-1895.

Took over St. George's Patent Brick and Pottery Works from David Barker in 1871. Encaustic tiles noted.

Mark: the firm's name.
Chamberlain & Co., Worcester, 1836-1840.

Succeeded by G. Barr and Fleming St. John, 1840-1848, in the same works. Encaustic tiles only. Ceased production in 1848 and sold out to J.H. Maw in 1850.

Copeland & Garrett, 1833-1847.

Later became W.T. Copeland & Sons, 1867-1970. Tiles made 1836 - c.1900. Early encaustic tiles and then plastic clay 'art tiles' and printed pictorial sets in the 1870s and 1880s.

W. & E. Corn or Corn Bros. Top Bridge Works, Longport (formerly one of the Davenport factories), 1891-1903, and Albert St., Tunstall.
No known wares or marks.
C.O.V. (England), c.1890-1900.

Not identified, though tiles so marked are not uncommon. Miscellaneous and floral patterns, no pictorial examples recorded.

J.M. Craig, Kilmarnock, Scotland, c.1870-1900.
No known wares or marks.
Craven Dunnill & Co. Ltd., Jackfield, Shropshire, 1872-1951 (formerly Hargreaves & Craven).

Great rivals to Maws. They produced much encaustic work such as the Roman Catholic Cathedral at Shrewsbury. Designs by leading architects such as Waterhouse and Goldie commissioned. No distinctive style in decorative tiles. Some rare items of art pottery are known. At one stage the firm introduced a profit-sharing scheme with the workers.

Crystal Porcelain (Pottery Company Ltd.) Tile Works, Elder Road, Cobridge, Staffordshire, c.1882-1890.

A catalogue in Hanley Reference Library is headed: "Manufacturers of Encaustic and Plain Tiles and Mosaics for pavements and all kinds of Glazed, Enamelled and Majolica Tiles for Dado's, Walls and Hearths." The company would appear to have made a wide range, though apart from two central panels in a hearth scheme all the illustrated tiles are simple patterned ones.

Decorative Art Tile Co., Brian St., Hanley, Staffordshire, c.1885-1900+
No known wares or marks.
Della Robbia Co. Ltd., Birkenhead, Cheshire, 1894-1901.

Hand-made tiles and plaques, painted or glazed in colours, early art nouveau in style. They made very striking art pottery. Examples are in the Williamson Art Gallery at Birkenhead.

William de Morgan, 1872-1907, various addresses.

Initially decorated other potter's blanks, subsequently made his own tiles. Very distinctive and much sought after tiles and wares. Worked wholly in the arts and crafts tradition. Quit potting to become a successful novelist.

Walter Pen Dennis, Ruabon, Wales, 1891-1901.
Marks: all include the potter's name.
Doulton & Co. Ltd., Lmbeth, London, 1870-c.1940, for tile production.

One of the leading tile decorators. Made some plastic clay tiles which were decorated by Hannah Barlow. Many architectural decorations in the 1890s and early 1900s including the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, and Harrods' Meat Hall based on the designs of W.J. Neatby and others. Used Craven Dunnill blanks.

William Eardley, 63 Lichfield St., Hanley, c.1887.
No known wares or marks.
J.C. Edwards, Ruabon, Wales, c.1870-1958.

Produced a wide range of products including terracotta, mosaic, encaustic and "tiles for walls, floors, fireplaces and the like." By 1896 had nearly 1,000 employees and produced two million articles a month.

William England & Sons, c.1868+.

Recorded by J. Moyr Smith in Ornamental Interiors, 1887 as one of those tile firm's "whose productions in keramic art have become notable". Also recorded in Kelly's London Directory 1876, at 5 Bury Place, Bloomsbury (mosaic pavements).

Marks: many tiles are marked with one word 'ENGLAND' and though this was common after 1891, it is possible that this firm also used this single word both prior and subsequent to this date as its mark.
Samuel Fielding & Co., Railway Pottery (later Devon Pottery), Stoke, c.1879. Made majolica, earthenwares and tiles.
Marks: initials `S.F. & Co.' printed and often a pattern number.
Flaxman Tile Works, Longton, c.1890-1930.

No documentary record has been found, but oral information has been supplied for the tentative dates.

Mark: 'FLAXMAN', moulded.
T. Forrester & Sons, c.1895.
No known wares or marks.
Gateshead Art Pottery, Co. Durham, c.1884-1900+.
No known wares or marks.
Gibbons, Hinton & Co., Brockmoor, Brierley Hill, Staffordshire (Barnard gives Stourbridge), 1883-c.1950.
No known wares or marks.
Gibbs & Canning, Glasscote, Nr. Tamworth, 1847-1900+.

The principal product was high grade terracotta for architectural use, e.g. Holy Name Church and the Town Hall, Manchester, The Royal Albert Hall and the Natural History Museum, South Kensington.

No known wares or marks.
William Godwin (&Son), Lugwardine, Hereford, c.1861.

Substantial maker of encaustic tiles of medieval design. They had a London agency in 1890.

Godwin & Hewitt, 1889-1910 (later Godwin & Thynne), Victoria Tile Works, Hereford. Encaustic and decorative tiles.
G.H. Grundy, Duffield Road, Derby, c.1895+.
No known wares or marks.
J. Hamblett, West Bromwich, Staffs., c.1890.
No known wares or marks.
Hawes & Co., London, c.1876-c.1880+.
No known wares or marks.
Heaton, Butler & Baines, King Street, Covent Garden, London.

Established in 1862. Produced stained glass, metalwork and furniture, and some tile decoration.

No known wares or marks.
Hopkins, c.1900.
No known wares or marks.
Jackson Bros., Castlefield, Hanley, c.1887.
No known wares or marks.
Jeffrey & Son, c.1900.
No known wares or marks.
W.P. Jervis, Stoke-on-Trent, c.1880+.
No known wares or marks.
H. & R. Johnson Ltd., Crystal Tile Works, Cobridge, Staffordshire, and the Highgate Tile Works, Tunstall, post 1916.

Following many mergers and amalgamations now Norcros Group. The firm incorporated many famous names: the Campbell Tile Co., T. & R. Boote, Maw & Co., Minton Hollins Ltd., Malkin Tiles, Sherwin & Cotton, etc. Responsible for the fine tile exhibits at the Gladstone Pottery Museum, Longton.

Lee & Boulton, High Street, Tunstall, c.1896+.

Their specialities were patent "Indestructible Floor Tiles" and patent "Aphthartic Glazed Tiles for walls, dadoes, grates, hearths etc."

Leeds Art Pottery & Tile Co., 1890-c.1900.

Earthenwares and art pottery and certain decorative tiles, some marked with the firm's name.

No known wares or marks.
Malkin, Edge & Co., Newport Works, Burslem, 1866.

Part of the earthenware firm of Edge, Malkin & Co. They had a large production of the general run of patterned, printed and glaze effects as well as encaustic tiles. They had a London showroom on Charing Cross Road.

Mansfield Bros. Ltd., Art Pottery Works, Woodville and Church Gresley, c.1890-1957.
Marsden Tile Co., Dale St., Burslem, c.1890-1918.

Wares included printed floral and geometrical patterns, and a patented 'rainbow' glaze effect. They had a London showroom, 23 Farringdon Avenue E.C., and a growing export trade with "the Colonies and in South Africa".

Marks: possibly 'M.T. Ltd.'
Martin Brothers, Fulham and Southall, London, 1873-1914.
Marks: many variations which include the names of the brothers, the initials, and often Southall.
Maw & Co., Worcester, 1850-1852, Benthail Works, Broseley, 1852-1883, and then after 1883 at Jackfield, Salop, until 1969.

Very large and important firm manufacturing the full range from encaustic and architectural schemes from designs by Digby Wyatt and Owen Jones, to single, hand-decorated plaques. Also art pottery after 1875. Major exhibitors overseas, e.g. Chicago World's Fair 1893, and prolific exporters.

Minton Hollins & Co., Shelton New Road, Stoke-on-Trent, 1868-1962.

In 1868 Michael Daintry Hollins took the floor tiling business out of the long established Mintons China Works on a division of the business. He subsequently built an entirely separate, new factory. This rapidly expanded into all aspects of decorative and architectural tiling. It was never really a serious competitor however to Mintons China Works in printed and pictorial tiles, but nevertheless had an enormous output of all other types. Catalogues and other documentary material exists.

Marks: on encaustic tiles, 'Minton & Co.' On all decorative tiles, 'Minton Hollins & Co., Stoke-on-Trent', often with additional numbers and letters (not pattern numbers).
Mintons China Works, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., 1830-1918.

Founded in 1793 by Thomas Minton producing earthenware and porcelain. Tile production began c.1830 under Herbert Minton. The firm was a pioneer in many developments. From 1845-1868 traded as Minton & Hollins, and Minton & Co. In 1868 the partnership dissolved, Colin Minton Campbell took the china works and Michael Daintry Hollins the tile business. Soon after this the large-scale production of decorative wall tiles began at Mintons China Works. Extensive records, pattern books, original documents etc., survive at the factory, now part of Royal Doulton plc.

Ollivant, c.1898.
No known wares or marks.
Peakes, c.1890.
No known wares or marks.
Photo Decorated Tile Company, c.1899.
No known wares or marks.
Pilkingtons Tile & Pottery Co. Ltd.,

Clifton Junction, Manchester. An important tile and art pottery firm. Many fine coloured glaze effects in art nouveau style were produced under the direction of the manager William Burton, after designs by Walter Crane, Lewis F. Day, C.F.A. Voysey, A. Mucha and others.

Marks: a raised 'P' on the back of the tile.
Pinder Bourne & Co., Nile Street, Burslem, 1862-1882.
Porcelain Tile Company, Cobridge / Hanley, Staffs., c.1890.

Noted in Pottery Gazette, 1st October, 1896, as "manufacturers of encaustic and plain tiles, and mosaics for pavements, glazed, enamelled, and majolica tiles for dadoes, walls, hearths and floors." Their speciality was "vitreous floor tiles".

No known wares or marks.
Prestage, c.1900.
No known wares or marks.
Pryke & Palmer, 47/48 Upper Thames Street, London, E.C., 1890s.
No known wares or marks.
Richards Tiles, Pinnox Works, Tunstail, 1903-1968. (Successors to Corn Bros.). Glaze effects on wall tiles. Eventually merged into H. & R. Johnson Richards.
No known wares or marks.
Sherwin & Cotton, Vine Street, Hanley, 1877-1911 (olden gives 1930).

Extensive manufacturers of majolica coloured glaze tiles for all purposes.

Shrigley & Hunt, 28 John Street, Bedford Row, London and John O'Gaunts Gate, Lancaster, c.1880.
Mark: the firm's name.
T.A. Simpson & Co. Ltd., Cliff Bank Works and Furlong Tile Works, Burslem, c.1885-1969.

Made fairly wide range of ordinary printed and colour glaze tiles.

W.B. Simpson & Sons Ltd., 100 St. Martin's Lane and 456 West Strand, London, c.1873-1910.
George Skey & Co., Wilnecote Works, Nr. Tamworth, c.1862-1900.

The firm made many types of terracotta, rustic wares, architectural enrichments, "paving tiles and facing bricks".

Mark: the firm's name.
E. Smith & Co., Coalville, Leicestershire, 1859-1900.

Terracotta products were manufactured by George Smith c.1860, subsequently the range was widened. They traded as the Midland Brick and Terracotta Company. Pictorial and printed tiles marked 'E. Smith' are known and not uncommon, they date from 1880+. Series include Shakespeare, nursery rhymes, as well as patterns.

Smith & Ford, Lincoln Pottery, Burslem, 1895-1898 (continued as Samuel Ford & Co. to 1939).
No known wares. Mark: a horseshoe and ribbon device and initials 'S & F'.
W.T.H. Smith Ltd., Cable Pottery, Longport, Staffs., 1898-1905.
No wares known. Mark: the firm's name around a globe surmounted by a crown.
Steele & Wood, London Road, Stoke-on-Trent, 1874-1900 +.
Mark: the firm's name sometimes with an address, or an elaborate shield with both name and initials of the firm incorporated.
Stone & Co., Nonsuch Pottery, Ewell and Epsom Potteries, c.1866-1900+.
Mark: 'Stone & Co.'
Stubbs & Hodgart, Longport, Staffs., c.1890-1900+.

A coloured advertisement sheet in the City Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on- Trent, depicts over thirty different designs in the art nouveau style.

No known wares or marks.
Sugden Bros., c.1898. Recorded in Barnard, p.164.
No known wares or marks.
C.P. Sutcliffe & Co. Ltd., Higher Broughton, Manchester, 1885-1901.
No known wares. Mark: a flowering plant in a pot bearing a large capital 'S'.
George Swift Ltd., Binns Road, Liverpool, c.1900 + .
No known wares or marks.
Tamar & Coalville, c.1899.
No known wares or marks.
Robert Minton Taylor, Fenton Tile Works, 1869-1875.

Taylor was a partner of Colin Minton Campbell and Michael Daintry Hollins 1863-1868. He left the business in 1868 and set up on his own the following year as R. Minton Taylor & Co. He was sued by Hollins of the newly-established Minton Hollins & Co., for his use of the word Minton. Taylor's business was bought by Colin Campbell in 1874 and advertisements were issued for the Minton Brick & Tile Co. Again Hollins sued over the use of the Minton name to which he claimed exclusive right for floor tiles. His claim was upheld and Taylor and Campbell then formed the Campbell Brick & Tile Co. in 1875. Taylor produced some interesting neo-delft 4-inch tiles, and some of the blanks for the murals in the Grill Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

H.G. Thynne of Hereford, c.1900.

A group of Thynne's tiles are in the City Museum, Stoke-on-Trent. Mainly moulded and lustre glazed pieces.

No known wares or marks.
Charles Timmis & Co., Sheaf Works, Longton, Staffs. (in 1890 trading as Timmis & Watkin c.1890-1900+).
No known wares or marks.
J. & W. Wade Co., Burslem, c.1890-1900+.
No known wares or marks.
Webb & Co., Leeds, c.1880.
No known wares or marks.
Webb's Worcester Tileries, Rainbow Hill, Worcester, 1870-1905.

The products were chiefly geometrical tiles, but decorative wall tiles are known. They had a London address in 1890.

Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd., Etruria, Staffs.

Tile production c.1870-1900+. Manufactured tiles of all descriptions, though mostly transfer printed and decorative wares.

Ambrose Wood, Regent House, Hanley, c.1885.
No known wares or marks.
Wood & Co., Boothen Road Works, Stoke-on-Trent, c.1887.
No known wares or marks.
George Wooliscroft & Sons Ltd., Patent Tile Works, Hanley, c.1880-1990s. Also at 52 Finsbury Pavement, London E.C.

Makers of "fresco" tiles, which "in plain colours of varied shade, are particularly suitable for the the walls of stables, as the face is not a glaze, but a body fired on with a semi-glazed appearance, which, how- ever, reflects no glare to injure the eyes of horses"! In 2000 Pilkington’s Tiles took the Woolliscrofts over and in 2010 The Dorset Woolliscroft brand was acquired from Pilkington’s Tiles by Original Style.

Mark: an elaborate impressed mark showing a waterwheel and the words, 'Etruria Hydraulic Tiles'.