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Print and Tile

Arend Jan Gierveld - page 4

Designers of sponsen for the central illustration on dishes and tiles sometimes had to glean their models from a variety of sources. Books did not always provide series of engravings. A plate and several tiles dating from the first half of the seventeenth century depict a sea eagle, and a number of other tiles of the same period show a recumbent stag with large antlers. The direct or indirect graphic models for these pictures were two woodcuts in a book published in Venice in 1554. This book (in fact, six books in one volume) was compiled by a physician called Matthiolus from Siena in Tuscany and is a treatise on the significance of many hundreds of plants and some animals for medical science. Almost certainly the spons makers and tile painters had never heard of this book, and copied later engravings modelled on the woodcuts. The sea eagle was used by Verswaen in Gouda, possibly in Haarlem too. The recumbent stag must have been used by a number of tile factories. The plate and tiles shown here date from the first half of the seventeenth century, but the influence of the recumbent stag with extended foreleg continues right to the end of the eighteenth century.

The House of Orange on Tile Pictures

Willi Joliet and Johan Kamermans - page 8

Portraits of Members of the House of Orange were regularly reproduced on tiles for several centuries, though this was never a matter of course. These tile pictures were made, primarily, to mark the occasions when the House of Orange was restored: after the Second Stadtholderless Period for instance (under Stadtholder William IV and during his son’s minority, 1748-1767), or after French rule (the beginning of the monarchy under William I, 1815). They were also made in times of great political tension, when the position of the stadtholder was at issue (around 1790 in particular, but also around 1615-1625, at the end of the Twelve Years’ Truce). The tile painters used prints as models. Such a large variety of these prints were published that it is not always clear which is the original of the tile portrait. As to who placed these tile pictures in their homes, this can rarely be ascertained, unfortunately.

Tile Pictures designed by Adolf Le Comte from Delft Station

Bart Verbrugge - page 22

Four tile pictures from the hall of Delft Railway Station, acquired by Nederlands Tegelmuseum (Dutch Tile Museum, Otterlo) in 1995-1996, represent an important moment in the history of the Dutch tile industry. They are, in fact, among the first instances of monumental tile decoration in a public building towards the end of the nineteenth century. At that time the Dutch tile industry was experiencing a major revival, in which De Porceleyne Fles, makers of the Delft Station tile pictures, had a pioneering role. All those who played a part in the early years of the revival of blue and white delftware and tile decoration, were also involved in the production of the tile pictures for Delft Station in 1884-1885: Adolf Le Comte designed them, the ceramic artist Leon Senf painted them and G. Offermans made the glazes.

When the tile pictures were put in place, the delft blue design fitted in well with the ideas of the Dutch Neo-Renaissance style prevailing at that time. This style was succeeded by the Art Nouveau movement, when a new generation of artists - though including Le Comte once more - exploited the many decorative possibilities of the ceramic tile with great success.

Tile pictures at the former Grand Hôtel du Lévrier et de l'Aigle Noir in Maastricht

Mario Baeck - page 32

The walls of the porte-cochère of the former Grand Hôtel du Lévrier et de l'Aigle Noir, Boschstraat 76 in Maastricht (in the south of the Netherlands), are decorated with an imposing set of six tile pictures depicting landscapes. They were made by the Belgian Manufacture de Céramiques Décoratives de Hasselt in cloisonné technique around 1900. Tile decoration was a fashionable option and gave the hotel a modern look. The central pictures are reminiscent of designs made for Hasselt by Jacques Madiol, a Belgian painter of Dutch descent. Areas representing water show the sinuous lines typical of Symbolism and Art Nouveau. The flanking pictures are more ordinary, standard productions. The scale of this project makes it one of the most important carried out by the Hasselt factory.

In quest of Tjallingii, armed with a paint-scraper

A Frisian excavator interviewed by Lejo Schenk - page 44

Amateur archaeologist and earthenware collector Luut de Haan from Harlingen (province of Friesland) has been searching for earthenware and other artefacts in the soil of his home town since he was 16. Interviewed by Tegel editor Lejo Schenk, he describes how he has been systematically excavating strips of soil along canals outside the town where potteries used to dump their waste. He has also found thousands of biscuit fragments with relief decoration on a former factory site in the centre of Harlingen. These fragments, some of them with a turquoise glaze, which have not yet been described, have been designated by De Haan as products of the Harlingen factory Tjallingii. He bases this opinion in part on what he knows of the equipment used at the Tjallingii works.

Maastricht architecture on tiles

Jan Pluis and Jean M.W. Maussen - page 47

The rise of the tourist industry led to a flourishing trade in tiles with city views. The principal manufacturer of tiles with views of Maastricht (in the south of the Netherlands) was the Société Céramique. Eight oblong tiles with rounded corners depicting Maastricht buildings, bridges and gates in transfer technique made by this factory are known. Also hand painted tiles with Maastricht townscapes exist, produced by Atelier Astra (Maastricht) and based on coloured lithographs of about 1850 by Alexander Schaepkens. Hand painted tiles with original designs were made by the studios of De Groot Crolla (opposite Helpoort) and Frans Tuinstra (near the castle of Neercanne). A variety of other tiles depicting Maastricht buildings were produced, in silk screen technique, by mostly unknown makers.