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MOA: University of British Columbia


Square ceramic tile painted white with dark green designs overtop. Surface and sides are glazed. Dark green border on all sides with white interlocking lines inside. Central design of a white 16-petal chrysathemum flower in a dark green circle, surrounded by two dark green circles. The dark green circle closer to the top edge has cherry blossom motifs, the circle closer to the bottom depicts the three-taloned lung dragon. Surrounding the circles are designs of leaves, vines and branches. Those designs are done with stippling. Five horizontal ridges on back of tile. Manufacturer’s mark, Mintons China Works, stamped in between ridges.

  • Iconographic Meaning

    The tile shows Japanese influence, incorporating Japanese iconography, a trend that was popular in Victorian tiles at the time. The central flower is the Kiku-mon, a Japanese imperial badge of 16 petal chrysanthemum. The lower circle depicts the three-taloned lung dragon representative of a rain spirit. The third circle shows cherry blossoms, a Japanese national emblem. The background seems to depict plum branches.

  • Specific Techniques

    Tile was manufactured by dust-pressing, a technique that uses clay milled to a fine powder with low moisture content, then pressed in a die at high pressure. The design was transfer-printed, a technique in which an image from an engraved plate is transferred to a tile, usually, requiring transfer paper to be run through a printing press with the engraved plate to pick up the ink, the design from the transfer paper could then be rubbed onto the tile.

  • Cultural Context

    Wall tile. Mintons China Works.

  • Type of Item tile
  • Culture English
  • Material clay, paint, glaze
  • Manufacturing Technique dust-pressed, transfer-printed
  • Measurements height 15.6 cm, width 15.6 cm, depth 1.2 cm (overall)

  • Creator Mintons
  • Previous Owner Judith Stoffman
  • Received from Judith Stoffman

  • Made in United Kingdom, Stoke-on-Trent

  • Creation Date between 1860 and 1900
  • Ownership Date before October 30, 2019
  • Acquisition Date on October 30, 2019

  • Item Classes ceramics
  • Condition fair
  • Accession Number 3401/0021