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February 24, 2016, 03:02 PM

Minton floor sells for double estimate at Gaze salvage sale

By Thornton Kay

Early Minton encaustic tiled floor sold for 2,530 [photo Gaze

 
Carved oak gothic overdoor [photo Gaze
 
Four musical putti [photo Gaze
 
Font cover or pulpit canopy? [photo Gaze
   

Norfolk, UK - At Gaze's architectural salvage and statuary sale in Diss last Saturday the sold rate was 70% by lot with 596 of the 844 lots selling at hammer price (plus 15% buyer's premium). The top lot, a Boulton & Paul revolving summerhouse with concertina half-glazed doors, failed to get away at an estimate of 3,500-5,250.

The top lot at this sale at 2,530 inc premiums was a set of 6ins square light blue, light yellow cane and red marl terracotta pattern tiles from an encaustic floor removed from a house in Kensington, the backs of each tile marked 'MINTON & CO, PATENT, STOKE UPON TRENT' and impressed with 25 firing holes to allow for even firing of the clay body. Early encaustic tiles usually consisted of a sandwich of red brown marly clay on the upper and lower face, with lighter finer clay between to reduce warping during firing of the tile, although very early Minton encaustics were not sandwiches. From 1830 to 1840 they were made entirely of clays local to Stoke, and were of an impressed red fired body with a very thin light buff clay used for the inlaid pattern. From 1840 a cheap red 'open' marl was used as the sandwich filler, with a thin finer clay either side.

The floor covered around 11ft by 9ft an was catalogued as 'Pugin design 1850', and the construction of the tiles would appear to date them from 1830-1840 with a solid red marl body. However Minton was not documented as making tiles for Pugin until the latter part of 1840 at the earliest, so it is likely that these tiles date from 1840-1850, probably nearer 1845 when Minton began to be able to make tiles in an increased number of colours.

Augustus Pugin was a leading gothic revivalist, and these tiles were of a pattern form combining two quatrefoils, one large and one small, identical to those of the Westminster Abbey chapter house dating to the mid-1250s. It was not possible to find an illustration of these tiles on the internet or the Salvo library, and it is possible that these tiles were in the Puginian style by, for example, George Gilbert Scott who also used Minton and was influenced by Pugin.

Next highest lot at the sale was a fine old gothic oak overdoor. This was something of a sleeper, estimated at 100, which sold for 2,185. This was followed by a group of compo musical putti which sold for a low estimate 1,496.

Among the many lots of flowerpots, galvanised rivetted water tanks, sculpture, lead hoppers, doors, planks, flagstones and the like was a fine crocketed spire carved font cover or maybe a pulpit canopy which sold 552, estimated at 180.

The next sale of note at Gaze is Modern Design on Saturday 12th March.

A history of Victorian encaustic tiles and 1990s replicas by Johnson

T W Gaze Llp

Story Type:  Auction Report

ID: 93788

        
 
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