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 antique 6” x 6” tile, “Where Are You Going to My Pretty Maid,” is transfer and hand painted underglaze. As you can see from the photos, the glaze is still shiny since several reflections appear. In addition to the maker’s name, on the back of the tile is handwritten ELH 1879. I would presume that is the mark of the hand decorator and the date the tile was made. 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. 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. The back of the tile is marked Minton Hollins & Co, Patent Tile Works, Stoke-on-Trent, No. 2. I would think the No 2 indicates this tile was the second in the series. 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 worn spot on the back, but no cracks or crazing.
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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