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Old January 27th, 2012, 07:18 PM   #19
Patricia Jansma
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: amsterdam (the netherlands, EU)
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Dear All,

Just wanted to add the following text about tiles and rugs by Mr. Jan Pluis (a prominent scholar on tiles in the Netherlands) from the book "The Dutch tile, designs and names, 1570-1930" (Nederlands Tegelmuseum / Primavera Press, Leiden, The Netherlands, 1998, second edition). Page 31-35:

"Ornamental tiles 1560-1700
In Western Europe during the late middle ages, many buildings were erected in Gothic style. Monasteries, churces and the houses of the well-to-do often had floors of fired earthenware tiles. Red-firing floor tiles were either unglazed or were covered with a monochrome leadglaze or they had a decoration in relief or a white inlaid design. In Flanders, France, England, in the Northern Netherlands and Germany, these tiles were much used and were laid to form large 'tapestries' or 'carpets' of ornamental and/or figurative design.
In the third quarter of the 16th century, there was some cross-fertilisation of inlaid and tin-glazed (previously called 'maiolica') tile designs. Inlaid and relief patterns found their way onto maiolica tiles - or possibly vice versa?- during the second half of the 16th century (Van Dam, Tegel 12, 1984).
Ornamental tiles from the second half of the 16th century nearly always have a design painted in reserve against a dark background, producing an effect similar to that of inlaid floor tiles. Van Dam surmises that a number of floor tile makers switched over to the maiolica technique around 1550.
Although no examples remain of these early ornamental tiles installed on walls, it is likely that this was the case from abouth 1570 on. [...]
The traditional Italian system of surrounding a square, figurative tile with four elongated hexaganal tiles was abandoned in the middle of the 16th century. [...] The designs of this (pj: 1560-1600) period are purely ornamental ands show a mixture of renaissance and islamic styles, undoubtly influenced by the ornament books of the second quarter of the 16th century. One of the earlies of these was published by Francisque Pellegrin in 1530. His book had 62 pages illustrated solely with moresques and motifs derived from Moorish traceries printed in black on a white ground. Pellegrin, a native of Florence, worked a the court of the French king Francis I. At the time, there were numerous Islamic artists active in Italian cities and there was also direct trade contact between Venetian merchants and those of the Levant (notably Damascus). Because of this, Islamic designs and garland motifs became widely known. [...]

The star and cross shape goes back to the 13th and 14th century Persian tiles. At that time it was composed of individual star- and cross shaped tiles. In the 16th century this pattern was transferred to square tiles in Spain and later in Persia itself. Several tiles need to be placed together to obtain the star and cross design. [...] At the end of the 16th century the interest in figural designs increased again, and geometrical patterns gave way more and more to designs with, for example, animals and persons. By the middle of the 17th century ornamental designs only played a modest role in the total tile production. [...]

Carpets, tapestries and wallpapers
In common with tiles, carpets, tapestries and wallpaper are used to decorate walls and floors. Medieval tiled floors with a design in relief or inlay technique from the 12th and 13th centuries are often reminiscent of carpets. Rectangular areas of different patterns were laid adjacent to one another, separated by rows of plain tiles. These may have been inspired by Roman mosaics or by textile patterns. [...].


Best regards, Patricia Jansma
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