Minton Hollins produced several series of tiles, but, by far, the most charming series has to be the nursery rhyme tiles based on Walter Crane’s The Baby Opera book published in 1877. This 6” x 6” tile, “Jack & Jill,” is transfer and hand painted underglaze. The tile is set in its original 7 5/8" x 7 5/8" frame with bent square nails that swivel to hold in the tile; it also seems to be glued into place, because even after swiveling the nails the tile will not come out. I am very certain that at some point the originally black frame was painted white. You can see lots of oxidation of the wood and paper on the back of the frame. Since we cannot get the tile out, we cannot see the mark, but the other tile we have in this series is marked on the back Minton Hollins & Co, Patent Tile Works, Stoke-on-Trent. We have found that the series had at least eight tiles, but don’t know if more exist. The tile is in very good condition with very few wear marks and one small bite at the top left, but no cracks or crazing. In the close up photos of the blue sky, there appear to be cracks, but these are darker blue brush strokes.
We have another tile in the series listed separately in our shop.
What a great find to add to your collection. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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1870s Minton Hollins Nursery Rhyme Tile after Walter Crane Design