Artists, Designers and Manufacturers
The list of tilemakers and makers of architectural ceramics known as the TILE FILE is one of the most significant early pieces of research undertaken under the auspices of the Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society. It was begun by Francis Celoria, the first chairman of TACS, at the Gladstone Pottery Museum, Stoke-on-Trent, during the mid-1980s and was updated to a modern computerised format by Peter Clegg in 1998-9. The list originated as a compilation of material comprising references to tilemakers, makers of architectural ceramics, artists and designers, taken from a wide variety of publications, including those of the Society, catalogues, journals such as the Pottery Gazette, and various archival sources. Many members of TACS contributed information on specific manufacturers, thus some entries are lengthy while others are sadly brief. The Tile File is therefore very much work in progress, and contributions are eagerly sought to fill in the gaps and to supply material on those manufacturers and makers who do not already appear. Although some updating of entries has taken place, many others have not been reviewed since the original construction of the Tile File.
Entries should ideally consist of four components based on the keywords who, where, when and what:
’Who’ - name or names of firm, maker or artist
’Where’ - address and names of works and showrooms
’When’ - dates of foundation and various locations, with final date
’What’ - what was made, types of tiles, terracottas etc
The Tile File runs to about 150 pages, and copies of this unique document may be obtained either on a CDrom or on paper from the sole distributor of the Tile File: Buckland Books, Holly Tree House, 18 Woodlands Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex BN17 5PP Tel: 01903 717648 email firstname.lastname@example.org at a cost of £7.50 (TACS members) or £10 (non-members).
The following three entries from the current version of the Tile File are typical of the present entries:
CANDY & CO. LTD
Great Western Potteries, Heathfield Stn, nr Newton Abbot
Isolated references: 1892, 1926, 1947, 1948, 1949
This South Devon pottery is said in an advertisement of 1892 to be "Manufacturers of Buff Paving Bricks. Stoneware Pipes. Chimney Tops. Fire-Bricks. Engineering Bricks. Terra-Cotta. White & Coloured Glazed Bricks". The London office is said to be at 11 Queen Victoria St, London, E.C.(J.E.Sears (ed.) The Contractors’ Compendium (London 1892) p.6).
On a letterhead of 19.4.1926 the company is described as follows: "Candy & Co. Ltd/Manufacturers of all kinds of Tiles and Faience for Hearths and Fireplaces both slabbed and loose/ Sole Proprietors of the ’Devon’/ TRADEMARK/Fires". There is a reference to the following patents: Nos. "27161/07" and "13,829". The London offices and showrooms are said to be at 87 Newman St, Oxford St (Gladstone Pottery Museum Wenger Correspondence). In an architect’s catalogue covering the date range of 1947-1948 Candy and Co. are said to make Plain and Embossed Paving Bricks and Tiles. The plain 6 in. x 6 in. x 1 in. tiles are Reg. No. 305406 with the trade name "White City". Their products are said to have been used in the Houses of Parliament, the New County Hall, Battersea Power Station, J. Lyons & Co.’s kitchens, John Barker & Co., telephone exchanges of H. M. Office of Works, head office of Midland Bank, London. There is a reference to the "Northern Slabbing Depot: Devon Works Nelson Lancs" (The Architects’ Standard Catalogues 1947-1949. (Tenth Edition) vol. l, sect. 9 (London, no date given) p. 5).
Entered 04.04.1984, edited 28.06.1985
CARTER & CO
Encaustic Tile Works, Poole, Dorset
1873-1964 J. & B. Austwick, The Decorated Tile (Pitman House, 1980); T. A. Lockett, Collecting Victorian Tiles (Antique Collectors Club, Woodbridge, 1979); G. A. Godden, Encyclopaedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks (Barrie & Jenkins, 1964).
Carter & Co. began in 1873 when Jesse Carter (1830-1926) took over James Walker’s works (q.v.). In 1895 the premises of the Architectural Pottery Co. at Hamworthy, not far away, was purchased. In 1906 Carter & Co. London Ltd was set up and in 1921 a further company, Carter, Stabler & Adams was formed for producing "Poole Pottery" at the premises originally occupied by Walker. From 1921 a number of companies were formed or absorbed. In 1964 Carter & Co. merged with Pilkington Tiles (q.v.). The entire group was taken over in 1972 by Thomas Tilling Ltd. Full information about the firm can be found in Jennifer Hawkins’ The Poole Potteries (Barrie & Jenkins, London etc. 1980). An advertisement of the period 1928-1930 in a builder’s catalogue shows photographs of buildings recently built from their materials.
Messrs Lefevre’s shop in Canterbury ("The upper portion is in Carters’ White Ceramic Marble. A hard-fired impervious glazed Terra Cotta");
Messrs Cannon’s Restaurant, Chelmsford ("Executed in Carters’ Grey Unglazed Terra Cotta. The cheapest of the Carter Constructional Building Materials...");
Swan Hotel, Broadway, Stratford, London, a pub of Messrs Watney, Combe, Reid & Co. Ltd. ("A dignified and attractive facing in Carters’ full Glazed Faience");
Sittingbourne Co-operative Society ("in Carters’ White Ceramic Marble. A hard-fired, impervious glazed Terra Cotta").
The architects were: Lefevre’s: Jennings and Gray; Cannon’s: A.E. Wiseman; Sittingbourne Co-op: Marshall Harvey.
The products of Carters’ (note how they used the apostrophe) were: "Ceramic Marble. White, Tinted or Coloured. Semi-dull. Hard fired. Impervious. Terra Cotta. Unglazed, in all the usual colours/ Stoneware. A semi-glazed dull material, with the qualities and interest of the old Stoneware Pottery. Faience. The more decorative form of glazed material. Highly coloured and finished." (The Building Trades’ Standard Catalogues (Third Edition) 1928-1931 (London, no precise date) Sect. 3, pp.48-5l. In Sect. 4, pp. 1-9, are illustrated wall and floor tiles as well as their mosaics. There is on p.9 a photograph of the out-patients’ waiting room at Croydon General Hospital which has wall lining in Carter Tiles and a "Carterazzo" Floor. The architects are said to be Messrs Berney & Son. The company made a wide variety of such materials. Recent Carterazzo contracts included Adelaide House, London Bridge, "Liverpool, Victoria F.S., London", Billericay Union, Haven Hotel, Parkstone, Vigo House, Regent Street, London, Wallington Schools, Epsom Schools, Boots’, Lincoln, King William Street House, London, E.C., Royal Horticultural Hall etc. In the 1926-1928 edition of the same catalogue (Sect. 2, pp. 50-51) are illustrated two recent buildings. One is the Clapham Common underground station of the C. & S. L. Railway, described as Carters’(sic)"Stoneware," a semi-dull glazed terra-cotta of warm grey colour and interesting surface quality. Dull black glazed plinth and cornices. It is said to be one of the five reconstructed stations on the City and South London Railway using this firm’s "Stoneware". The other building illustrated is Hobden’s butcher’s shop at 19 Victoria Rd, Hove, Sussex (P.B. Hunter, architect). This is in "Carters’ highly-glazed Faience".
A tile panel showing the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret made by Carter for the King Edward VII Memorial Hospita]., Ealing, was rescued before a demolition and restored at Ironbridge ("Royalty Restored", GE, no. 5 (Summer 1983) p. 8). As Carter, Stabler & Adams from 1921 they made architectural faience, encaustic tiles, painted and majolica tiles, terracotta murals. Recorded as "manufacturers of all kinds of ornamental tile", they registered between 8.2.1892 and 16.8.1889 some 19 designs (mainly drawn). Method of manufacture uncertain, though some are obviously moulded.
Entered 04.04.1984, edited 28.06.1985
SIMPSON, WILLIAM BUTLER AND SONS
St. Martins Works, 100 St. Martins Lane, Trafalgar Sq, London WC
c.1873-1910+ T. A. Lockett, Collecting Victorian Tiles (Antique Collectors Club, Woodbridge, 1979); c.1870- c.1910 J. & B. Austwick, The Decorated Tile (Pitman House, 1980).
Decorators of Maw’s tiles. This firm of decorators from 21.3.1884 to 25.8.1886 registered 41 transfer print designs. John Greene (GE no.4 (Spring 1983) p.3) tells of a visit to the firm at St Martin’s House, 16 Brommels Rd, London. Stan Valler was the managing director. The article gives details from the few records that have survived. The firm is said to be trading as Specialists in wall and floor tiling, terrazzo mosaic..., ceramic, glass and marble mosaic, cleaning and restoration of terrazzo and ceramic finishes, faience and terra cotta". On p.5 of the same publication, details of the firm’s history are given from which the following dates are taken.
1833 Firm founded by artist W.B. Simpson (d. 1882)
1852 Sons, William Frederick (ret. 1892) and Edward (ret. 1894), apprenticed to the business
1858 Sale agency in London for Geo. & Arthur Maw (new agreement in 1862)
1860 With the sons as partners, the firm trades as W.B.Simpson & Sons at 456 West Strand, London
1868-1878 Transfer to 100 St Martin’s Lane (mainly studios; the kilns were under S.W. Rlwy arches at Vauxhall and later on site of Civic Service Stores, Chandos St.)
1894 Partners were Edward Graham and Frederick Coleridge Simpson
1925 G. Colin Simpson and Lionel Simpson, directors.
The firm at various times had important decorative contracts for the gentry and livery companies. They are noted as making printed pattern tiles, "decorative faience on architectural lines" and "coloured enamel tiles". They helped pioneer fireplace tiles. As decorators they used Maw’s biscuit tiles. They also made mosaics (tesserae) and ecclesiastical "opus sectile" tiles. Their painted tiles and panels were used for theatres, baths, restaurants, museums etc. In the 1890s the company’s plain tile business increased considerably. A large underground railway contract included tiling for Hampstead & Highgate Rlwy, Piccadilly & Brompton Rlwy, and Bakerloo. [Bibliographical addition] Some W.B. Simpson tiles and their backs are discussed by Richard Myers, in "W.B. Simpson & Sons", GE, no. 5 (Summer 1983) p.3.
Entered 04.04.1984, edited 02.07.1985
This is just a small extract from a huge work in progress; the TILE FILE awaits your additional information! It’s available on CDrom or in paper format, see above.