Transfer Printed Aesthetic Movement Tile
Aesop Fable ~ Bear and the Two Travelers 1870
Minton Hollins Staffordshire England 1870
This spectacular Aesthetic movement Victorian transferware tile measures 6 inches square. Transfer printed in a brilliant navy blue. The tile is decorated with an Aesop Fable titled Bear and the Two Travelers and illustrates the bear and travelers in this amusing fable:
TWO MEN were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly met them on their path. One of them climbed up quickly into a tree and concealed himself in the branches. The other, seeing that he must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he could. The Bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch a dead body. When he was quite gone, the other Traveler descended from the tree, and jocularly inquired of his friend what it was the Bear had whispered in his ear. "He gave me this advice," his companion replied. "Never travel with a friend who deserts you at the approach of danger."
Moral: Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends.
The tile was part of a series, each with a fable from Aesop or Fontaine. The series contained more than 12 different illustrated tiles which would have been used to decorate a mantel or wall in baby’s nursery.
Made by Minton & Hollins. In 1845, Herbert Minton took Michael Daintry Hollins into partnership, and the tile-making side of the business became known as Minton Hollins & Co. Minton was at the forefront of a huge industry supplying the tile needs of institutions and churches, using industrial techniques for producing transfer printed and painted tiles. The firm produced tiles through the 19th century in a vast array of styles, many of them designed by leading artists such as Christopher Dresser, Walter Crane, John Moyr Smith, and William Wise. Aesop Fables tiles were made in several different styles, this being the rarest and most sought after.
The tile it is in outstanding condition.