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TILE (0. Eng. tigel, Fr. tuile, conne...

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Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 975 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TILE (0. Eng. tigel, Fr. tuile, connected with Lat. tegula), the name given to flat slabs of baked clay or other material used for a great variety of architectural purposes, such as covering roofs, floors and walls. z. Roofing Tiles.'—In the most important temples of ancient Greece the roof was covered with tiles of white marble, fitted together in the most perfect way so as to exclude the rain. In most cases as in the Athenian Parthenon and the existing temple of Aegina the tiles were large slabs of marble, with a flange along each side over which joint tiles (apµol) were accurately fitted (see A. in fig. 1). In the temple of Apollo at Bassae, though the main building was of limestone, the roof was covered with very beautiful tiles of Parian marble, which are specially mentioned by Pausanias as being one of the chief beauties of the temple. Some of these were found by Mr Cockerell during his excavations 1 In Egypt and Assyria temples and palaces were mostly roofed with stone, while inferior buildings had flat roofs covered with beaten clay (see also TERRA COTTA).at Bassae early in the 19th century.2 In design they resemble the other examples mentioned above, but are peculiar in having a joint piece worked out of the same slab of marble as the adjacent tiles (see B in fig. 1) at great additional cost of material and labour, in order to secure a more perfect fit. Fig. 2 shows the A 6 0 A, B, Marble tiles from Aegina D, Sketch showing method of and Bassae, showing two jointing at the lower edge. methods of working the E, Longitudinal section of a clay joint tiles. joint-tile (&pµ61). C, C, Clay tiles from Olympia. F, Joint-tile with peg to fix it. way in which they were set on the roof. Great splendour of effect must have been gained by continuing the gleaming white of the columns and walls on to the roof. All along the eaves each end of a row of joint tiles was usually covered by an antefixa, an oval topped piece of marble with honeysuckle or some other conventional pattern carved in 'relief.$ In most cases the Greeks used terra-cotta roofing tiles, shaped like the marble ones of fig. i, A. Others were without a flange, being formed by a concave upper surface to prevent the rain getting underneath the joint tiles. The lower edge of the tile, whether of marble or of clay, was usually half-lapped and fitted into a corresponding rebate in fig. 1, at Bassae. B, B, Dowels to fix the joint-tiles. C, Tilting piece. a, a, Flat surface of tiles: the upper edge of the next tile (see D in fig. 1). The &pilot. also were half-lapped at the joints (see E in fig. 1). All these. were usually fastened with bronze nails to the rafters of the roof. In some cases each joint-tile had a projecting peg to fix it to the next &pµos, as shown at F. In the temples of Imperial Rome marble roofing tiles were used like those shown at fig. 1. These were copied from Greek work along with other salient architectural features. For domestic and other less important work clay tiles (tegulae) were employed, of the form shown in A, fig. 3. These are narrower at the lower edge, so as to fit into the upper 2 See Cockerell, Temples of Aegsna and Bassae (London, 1860): Marble tiles are said to have been first made by Byzes of Naxos about 62o B.c.; see Pausanias V. I0, 2. edge of the next tile and the joints were covered with a semi-circular joint tile (imbrex). Rows of terra-cotta antefixae were set along the eaves of the roof, and were often moulded with very beautiful reliefs. In localities which supply laminated stone, such as Gloucestershire and Hampshire in Britain, the Romans often roofed their buildings with stone tiles fastened A, Section and elevation of the clay tiles commonly used in ancient Rome. B, Roman stone tiles, each fixed with one iron nail at the top angle. C, Pan-tiles used in medieval and modern times. with iron nails. Fig. 3, B, shows an example from a Roman villa at Fifehead Neville, in Dorset, England. Each slab had a lap of about 2" over the row of tiles below it; many large iron nails were found with these stone tiles. In a few cases, in the most magnificent temples of ancient Rome, as in those of Capitoline Jupiter and of Venus and Rome, and also the small circular temple of Vesta' tiles of thickly gilded bronze were used, which must have had a most magnificent effect. Those of the last named building are specially mentioned by Pliny (U.N. xxxiv. 7) as having been made of Syracusan bronze2—an alloy in great repute among the Romans. The bronze tiles from the temples of Jupiter Capitolinus and of Venus and Rome were taken by Pope Honorius I. (625–638) to cover the basilica of St Peter, whence they were stolen by the Saracens during their invasion of the Leonine city in 846.3 In medieval times lead or copper4 in large sheets was used for the chief churches and palaces of Europe; but in more ordinary work clay tiles of very simple form were employed. One variety, still very common in Italy, is shown in C, fig. 3. In this form of so-called " pan-tile " each tile has a double curve, forming a tegula and imbrex both in one. Stone tiles were also very common throughout the middle ages. Another kind of roofing tile, largely used in pre-Norman times, and for some centuries later for certain purposes, was made of thin pieces of split wood, generally oak; these are called " shingles." They stand the weather fairly well, and many old examples still exist, especially on the wooden towers and spires of East Anglia. At the present day, when slate is not used, tiles of burnt clay are the ordinary roofing material, and many complicated forms have been invented to exclude rain. Most of these are, however, costly and do not answer better than the rectangular tile about 9 by 6 in., fastened with two copper or even stout zinc nails, and well bedded on mortar mixed with hair. For additional security clay tiles are usually made with two small projections at the upper edge, which hook on to the battens to which they are nailed. The district round Broseley (Shropshire) is one of the chief centres in England for the manufacture of roofing tiles of the better sort. The common kinds are made wherever good i The dome of the Pantheon was covered with tiles or plates of bronze thickly gilt, as were also the roofs of the forum of Trajan. 2 Bronze tiles for small buildings such as this were usually of a pointed oval form, something like the feathers of a bird. This kind of tiling is called pavouaceum by Pliny, H.N., xxxvi. 22. 3 Part of the bronze tiles had been stripped from the temple of Jupiter by the Vandals in 455; see Procopius, Bell. Van. i. 5. The gilt domes of Moscow are examples of this use of copper. See also the domed churches at Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Lilbeck.brick-clay exists. In some places pan-tiles are still used and have a very picturesque effect; but they are liable to let in the rain, as they cannot be securely nailed or well bedded in mortar. In Gloucestershire, Yorkshire, north-east Lancashire and other counties of England, stone tiles are still employed, but are rapidly going out of use, as they require very strong roof timbers to support them, and the great extension of railways has made the common purple slates cheap in nearly every district. The green slates of the Lake District are now extensively used for this purpose, often with excellent effect. Some of the mosques and palaces of Persia are roofed with the most magnificent, enamelled, lustred tiles, decorated with elaborate painting, so that they shine like gold in the sun. They were specially used from the 13th century to the 15th. In style and manufacture the finest of them resemble the frieze shown in fig. 5. 2. Wall Tiles.—These are partly described under MURAL DECORATION (q.v.).' In used in the most magnificent way throughout the middle ages especially in Constantinople, Broussa, Damascus, Cairo, Moorish Spain, and in the chief towns of Persia. Fig. 4. shows a fine example from a mosque in Damascus. From the 12th to the 16th century a special kind of lustred tiles was largely employed for dadoes, friezes and other wall surfaces, being frequently made in large slabs, modelled boldly in relief with sentences from sacred books or the names and dates of reigning caliphs. The whole was picked out in colour, usually dark or turquoise blue, on a ground of FIG. 4.–Wall Tiles from Damascus, of cream-white enamel, and the 16th century. in the last firing minute ornaments in copper lustre were added over the whole design, giving the utmost splendour of effect (see fig. 5). Great skill and taste are shown by the way in which the . delicate painted enrichments are part of a frieze. made to contrast with the bold decoration in relief. These lustred tiles sometimes line the prayer-niche in houses and mosques; in such cases the slabs usually have a conventional representation of the kaaba at Mecca, with a lamp hanging in front of it and a border of sentences from the Koran s The mosques of Persia are specially rich in this method of decoration, 6 For the enamelled wall tiles of ancient Egypt, see CERAMIcs. 6 The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, contains many fine examples of the early as well as of the later sorts, like those shown in fig. 4. A most oriental countries tiles were magnificent examples existing at Natenz, Seljuk, Tabriz, Isfahan ;ad other places.' Indian tile-work is specially described in the article KASHI. Stamped Spanish tile decoration in its earliest form was an imitation of mosaic, pieces of enamelled tile of various colours being arranged in geometrical patterns, or combined with glass or stone for the purpose. In the 14th and 15th centuries this process was supplanted by one in which the variously shaped and coloured sections of tile were separated by means of narrow bands of the same material, enamelled in white and disposed in various combinations of geometrical interlacing. Of this kind are the bulk of the Alhambra tiles. But the tediousness of the process gave rise, about 1450, to what is known as the cuerda seta (or " dry cord ") method, in which narrow fillets at the edges of the separating interlacings were first stamped upon the tile itself and filled with clay and manganese; these being fired (thus forming a " dry cord " or line) formed shallow compartments which were in turn filled with coloured enamel, white being used for the interlacings themselves. The process was much in vogue in Andalusia and Castile until about 1550, when there arose the method de cuenca in which the parts of the design to receive different coloured enamels were stamped, slightly concave (cuenca—a bowl or socket), their edges alone being left in relief. This process lasted until about the commencement of the 18th century. At Manises, Paterna and elsewhere in Valencia, soon after the middle of the 14th century there commenced an extensive production of white enamelled tiles painted with designs in blue (more rarely in lustre and manganese) for wall and pavement decoration. This manufacture continued throughout the 15th century and produced some of the finest freehand tile designs that are known to-day. The motives included figure compositions, animals, plants, coats of arms, &c., drawn with great skill and facility. Most of these tiles are to be found in old houses in the city and province of Valencia. In Catalonia, in the 16th century, blue and white painted tiles were produced in imitation of those of Valencia. For the most highly finished of these stencils were employed to block out the designs. Polychrome painting upon tiles in the Italian manner was introduced into Spain by Niculose Francisco of Pisa, who settled at Seville (1503—1508) and executed altar-pieces and architectural details in tile work. This imported Italian style was much affected for armorial decoration. In the 16th and 17th centuries tiles of a coarse kind of majolica were used for wall decoration in southern Spain; some rich examples still exist in Seville. These were the work of Italian potters who had settled in Spain. 3. Floor Tiles.—After the development of painted and lustred tiles in Spain and Italy for the decoration of wall surfaces, they were also introduced, during the latter part of the 15th and the first part of the 16th centuries, as pavements, especially in the chapels of the famous cathedrals of those countries. Comparatively few examples of these pavements now exist, as the majolica enamel was too soft to stand the wear of the feet of worshippers. The earliest known pavement of this type is that in the church of San Giovannia Carbonara in Naples, which is dated, approximately, 1440. The tiles, square and hexagonal in shape, are coated with white enamel and are painted chiefly in dark blue, with touches of green and purple. The British Museum, the Louvre and other museums have secured odd examples of these tiles. It seems probable from the technical methods of the work that it was produced by a Spanish or even a Moorish hand. It is well known that Moorish tile-makers did travel both into Italy and into France to embellish the palaces of great nobles or the chapels See Coste, Monuments de la Perse (Paris, 1867).973 they founded. There is the well-known instance of the Moorish potter, Jean de Valence, who, in 1384, was brought to France by Jean de Berry to make tiles for the adornment of his ducal palace at Poitiers. One of the most important of these early majolica pavements is that made for the Convent of San Paulo at Parma, now in the museum of that town, which was probably laid down in 1482. One of the south chapels in the church of S. Maria del Popolo in Rome has a very fine pavement of painted tiles, executed probably at Forli, about 1480, for Cardinal della Rovere (Julius .II,), whose arms—an oak tree—are repeated over and over again among the rich decorations. A still more magnificent tile floor, in the uppermost of Raphael's Vatican loggie, is mentioned in the article DELLA ROBBIA, where also are described the exquisite, enamelled tiles which Luca della Robbia made as a border for the tomb of Bishop Federighi at Fiesole near Florence. Fine examples of tile pavements of 1486 exist in the basilica of S. Petronio at Bologna. The chapel of St Catherine at Siena and the church of S. Sebastiano at Venice have majolica pavements of about 1510. Fig. 6 shows an example of about this date from (Victoria and Albert Museum.) the Petrucci Palace in Siena, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. In the early part of the 16th century majolica tiles from Spain were occasionally imported into England. At the south-east of the mayor's chapel at Bristol there exists, though much worn, a fine pavement of Spanish tiles dating from about 1520. Others have been found in London, at Newington Butts, and in other places. Long before the southern nations of Europe were introducing their painted majolica tile pavements, a much more practical type of flooring tile was in use in Germany, France and England; of these the English encaustic tile pavements, dating from the early years of the 13th century to the end of the 16th century, are particularly important and beautiful. These Northern peoples had no knowledge of enamels and colours such as was possessed by the contemporary tile-makers of Moorish Spain or of Italy, and they were confined to the native red-brick earths and white pipeclays for their materials. The method of decoration was as simple and homely as the materials. Slabs of ordinary red-brick clay freed from pebbles, but not from grit or sand, were shaped by pressing cakes of clay into a mould of wood or baked clay, carved in such fashion that when the clay was just hard and dry enough to be removed from the mould the important elements of the design were formed as sunk cells divided by broad raised outlines. While this red tile was still soft and plastic, a thickish paste of pipeclay or other light burning clay was poured into the cells and allowed to stiffen. When the whole had dried sufficiently the surface was scraped level, with a thin sharp tool, with the result that the tile appeared with a kind of cloisonnb design, the cloisons or boundaries of the cells being, of course, the upstanding ridges of the moulded red tile.' Over the surface of the tile finely powdered galena (native sulphide of lead) was freely dusted, and the whole was fired at one operation with the resulting production of a tile or tiles bearing a yellowish white pattern relieved against red or chocolate, and glazed with a natural lead glaze, which was much harder and better adapted to resist wear than the majolica glazes of Spain or Italy. The origin of this type of pavement tile is still obscure; one idea is that they were a development of the Roman Mosaic pavement, for, in examples discovered at Fountains Abbey and at Prior Crauden's Chapel, Ely, in which the tiles'were of great variety of form and size, and, in-stead of the patterns being wholly inlaid in the tiles themselves, the design is, to a large extent, produced by the outlines of the individual pieces, which, in the later examples, are cut to the forms required to be represented, including the subject of the " Temptation of Adam and Eve," trees, lions, &c., the tesserae being also enriched with what may be more strictly called encaustic decoration. The' more probable origin of this method of work seems, however, to be a development of the pavement tiles with simple incised designs which were made in the northern parts of Burgundy, in the Rhine Valley and in Flanders. Most interesting examples of these incised tiles are to be found in the cathedral of St Omer, which are known to be of the 12th century, and it seems impossible to resist the conclusion that such incised work forms the starting-point of the English encaustic tile-makers. A- similar piece of work exists in Canter-bury Cathedral, where we have stone tiles engraved with pictorial designs, the sunk' parts being filled with a dark cement—this pavement also belongs to the 12th century. Four styles of decoration' are found on medieval Gothic tiles (1) incised or impressed, (2) raised, (3) inlaid, (4) slip-painted. It is to the third of these groups—the inlaid—that the name of " encaustic " tiles, had been particularly given. The manufacture of medieval Gothic tiles was apparently the secret of certain religious houses in England, belonging either to the Benedictine or the Cistercian Orders. The earliest date at which we have tangible proof of the existence of this art is 1237, in which year it was ordered that the king's little chapel at Westminster should be paved with " painted tile ": " mandatum est etc., quod Parvum capellam apud Westm. tegula picta decenter paveari faciatis," Rot. Claus. 22, Henry III. M. 19, A.U. 1237-38. In 184o the removal of a wooden floor in the chapter-house at Westminster, exposed to view a tile pavement in good preservation which, though it can hardly be the pavement in question, is evidently of contemporary manufacture. The finest and most artistic of these early English tiles were those found in Chertsey Abbey in Surrey. They were found in a very fragmentary condition on the Abbey site, but have been to a great extent' pieced together by Mr Shurlock. Practically all the tiles that have been recovered are now in the British Museum (a number of them were formerly in the architectural museum at Westminster). They present a remarkable series of illustrations from the English romance of Sir Tristram and of events in the history of Richard Coeur-de-Lion (see Hobson's Catalogue of English Pottery in the British Museum, pl. ii.). Mention should also be made of the tile pavement discovered at the abbey of Halesowen in south Staffordshire. Many of these tiles are of very similar design to those of Chertsey, while some appear to have been made from the same moulds. From the evidence of inscriptions it would appear that this pavement was laid down in the latter part of the r3th century. Combinations of tiles forming a cross were frequently used as 1 It is interesting to note the similarity of technique between the English encaustic tiles, and the' later methods of Hispano-Moorish work. The English filled their cells in the surface of the tiles with another clay; the Spanish-Moorish potters with coloured glaze.mortuary slabs; an example is in Worcester Cathedral in situ, whilst detached component tiles of similar slabs are to be found in other ancient churches. Encaustic tiles are almost exclusively used for pavements, but an interesting instance of their employment for wall decora• tion occurs in the Abbey Church of Great Malvern, where these tiles have probably been originally used to form a reredos, and bear designs representing Gothic architecture in perspective, have introduced into them the sacred monogram " I.H.S.," the crowned monogram of " Maria," the symbols of the Passion, the Royal Arms and other devices. This example is also interesting as bearing the date of its manufacture on the margin " Anne R.R. H.VI. XXXVJ.," that is the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Henry VI. (1457–1458). Kilns for tile-burning have been found at Bawsey, near Lynn, Norfolk; Malvern, containing some 15th-century tiles; Repton; Farringdon Street, London; and Great Saredon, in Staffordshire, with tiles of the 16th century. With the downfall of the monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII. the making of encaustic tiles in England appears to have come to an end, and for nearly two centuries foreign tiles were imported from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, or workmen from those countries must, have practised their art here. There are in evidence the well-known green glazed tiles in the British Museum which, if made in England at all, are obviously inspired by contemporary German work, and the tiles used in the house of Sir. Nicholas Bacon (c. 1509–1-579) are obviously the work of an Italian majolist, whether they were made in Italy or in England. Increasing intercourse with the Netherlands brought into this country and, during the 17th century into the American colonies, the famous Delft tiles, painted either in blue, or in blue and manganese purple, on a tin enamel ground like that of the contemporary Delft pottery. From the 16th century onwards every country in Europe continued to makes tiles by methods strictly analogous with their contemporary pottery (see CERAMICS). Thus we have in Italy and Spain, throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, wall tiles in the style of the debased Italian majolica; in Germany a continuation of the ancient German stove tiles, either glazed with green, brown or black glaze, or bearing painted designs in the crude colours characteristic of the contemporary German pottery; in France there were, first, the painted tile. pavements of Masseot Abaquesne of Rouen (1542–1,557), and later the. decorative tiles produced at Rouen, Nevers, Marseilles and elsewhere, always in the style of . the current pottery of the same centres; and painted tiles for the decoration of fireplaces and for use as wall panels formed a considerable part of the output of the Dutch factories. Wherever imitations of Delftware were made, in England, Germany or the north of France, the manufacture of similar tiles naturally followed; and at Lambeth, Liverpool and Bristol, the chief centres of this industry in England, large quantities of tiles were made, especially during the 18th century. The tiles produced at Lambeth and Bristol factories were invariably painted after the manner of their Dutch prototypes, but during the latter half of the 18th century Liverpool became famous for its printed tiles, in which designs, mostly in black, trans. ferred from engraved copper plates, took the place of hand painting. Fine examples bf all these 18th-century English tiles are to be found in the British Museum; the Guildhall Museum; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and in the museums at Liverpool and Bristol. During the 17th and 18th centuries the old- painted and decorated pavement tiles seemed to have been entirely replaced by the common buff or red terra-cotta " quarries " so largely used in farmhouse kitchens, dairies, &c., and it is to the painted tiles for walls and fireplaces that we have to look for the progress of the art. The modern revival of tile-making in Europe dates from about 183o, when Samuel Wright, a potter of Shelton, near Stoke-upon-Trent, was granted a patent for the manufacture of tiles by mechanical means. His patent was extended for fourteen years, and in 1844 was purchased, in equal shares, by Herbert Minton—head of the famous firm of Mintons, of Stokeupon-Trent—and Fleming St John, of Worcester. In 1848 the firm of Mintons acquired the sole right of the patent, and kt-'e'4'_A Fm. 7.—A Panel of De Morgan's. for many years Mintons were the most famous tile manufacturers in the world. In 1850 the firm of, Maw & Co. purchased the remaining stock of encaustic tiles made at Worcester, and, on the expiration of Wright's patent, commenced to manufacture at the old works at Worcester, removing in 1851 to Benthall, Shropshire, and afterwards, about 1887, to their present works at Jackfield in the same district. From the methods thus invented in England all the modern processes of tile-making have sprung. In some cases they resemble the old " plastic " method of encaustic tile-making as it was practised in England in the middle ages, except that the tile is finally pressed in a mechanical press. The tile-makers of this mid-Victorian period owed much of their success to the birth of modern Gothic architecture, and United States. The manufacture of tiles by the compression of powdered clay rendered possible the introduction of many varieties—plain, inlaid, embossed and incised. The designs in these cases, though generally based on old work, are so different, especially in mechanical finish, that they form a class of tiles entirely distinct from old work. Economically, and for all practical purposes, they afford a style such as the world has never before seen, but, like many modern productions—perfect in execution and finish—they lack the spontaneity and 'artistic charm of the work of bygone days. Since the middle of the 19th century artist-potters in many countries have gone hack to the ancient methods of production for richly painted tile panels, and, in this connexion, the productions of Deck in France, William de Morgan and Pilkington's in England, mark a distinct departure from contemporary modern work. The extended use of tiles for interior decoration has created a large trade in these articles, either for wall or floor decoration. Among the most important firms engaged in this branch of the ceramic industry must be mentioned Mintons, Hollins & Co., Maw & Co., and Pilkington's in England; Villeroy & Boch in Germany; Utschneider & Co. in France; Boch Freres. in Belgium; Thooft & Labouchere at Delft, Holland; and the American Encaustic Tile Co., in the United States.
End of Article: TILE (0. Eng. tigel, Fr. tuile, connected with Lat. tegula)
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