Monday, February 22, 2016


Mintons fairy tale tiles: "Snowdrop" at the top and "Beauty and the Beast" on the left.

What does transferware have to do with libraries?  The members of the Transferware Collectors Club had the pleasure of seeing the wonderful literary tiles in the Minton Library in Stoke during the 2015 ceramics tour.  The tiles had been covered over more than 50 years before by paint, wallpaper and shelves,  but were in the process of being restored. (Notice the mustard and green paint surrounding the tiles above.  The block of wood probably held up a bookcase).

Fairy tales, scenes from Shakespeare's plays, nursery rhymes, Bible stories, and Tennyson's "Idylls of the King" are just a few of the tile subjects.  Many were designed by John Moyr Smith  (1839-1912) for Mintons (1872-1950). 

More Mintons fairy tale tiles: "Rumpelstiltskin," "Frog Prince," "Snowdrop, and "Six Swans."

Mintons 6 inch tile "Rumpelstilzchen"

Mintons 6 inch tile "Frog Prince"

Mintons 6 inch tile "Snow Drop"/Notice the layers of paint above the tile.  Much of the paint, wallpaper, and bookcases have been removed.

Mintons 6 inch tile "Six Swans" circa 1872/Here you can see a piece of wood that was probably used to hold up a bookcase that covered the tile.

Here are a few tiles that illustrate some of Shakespeare's plays.  These patterns include the Act and Scene.

"Romeo and Juliet"

"The Merchant of Venice"

"Timon of Athens"


What could be better than a library tiled with literary subjects? 

Minton Library

This is an enlargement of the sign above the window on the right.   Click here for some more information about the Free Libraries Act and more photos of the library.

Below are some tiles that illustrate Bible stories and Tennyson's "Idylls Of The King."

Biblical tiles

"Idylls of the King" tiles

One more photo that illustrates one of my favorite fairy tales: Beauty And The Beast.

"Beauty And The Beast" Minton tile.  I wonder if another tile is under the paint on the left.

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