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Ceramic Tiles

From Assyrian to Majolica, and from accent to all-encompassing, ceramic tiles have offered delightful design and pattern to both interiors and exteriors for centuries. Complementing their beauty is their extensive history, which traces its roots well into antiquity.

The heritage of decorative ceramic tiles originates around 4000 B.C., when the cultures of ancient Mesopotamia began experimenting with glazed brick to create dazzling façades and pictorial programs. The tradition of elegantly glazed and decorated tiles continued to develop in the Islamic world, a region whose artistic traditions celebrate the rich styling of scrolling motifs and arabesques. By the 11th century, this tradition had spread to Western Europe, where elegantly glazed tiles appeared across the continent.

Some producers, like those working in the Faïence and Majolica traditions, experimented with color and painted patterns to produce vibrant and eclectic tiles. Others, like manufacturers in the Dutch city of Delft, translated the brilliant blue and white patterns so beloved on porcelain dishware into tile designs. Since the days of distinguished Delft and magnificent Majolica, ceramic tiles have become more prevalent, making us treasure these decorative pieces from the past even more.


Quick Facts

  • One of the best surviving examples of extravagant ceramic tile work in Western Europe is that seen the Great Mosque at Cordoba, many of which were added between the 8th and 9th centuries
  • Until the 19th century and its advances in mechanization, decorative ceramic tile making was done predominantly by hand
  • It was not until the 1900s that the notion of tiling interior spaces became commonplace. Architects at the time, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, capitalized on this new popularity by incorporating rich tiled motifs into their designs

Recommended Items at Auction

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Minton Hollins Tiles
Mar 02, 9:00 AM EST
Minton Hollins Tiles
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$554 Bids
Set of Fifty-Eight William De Morgan 'New Persian no. 2' Tiles
Mar 01, 10:00 AM EST
Set of Fifty-Eight William De Morgan 'New Persian no. 2' Tiles
by STAIR
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$2,1004 Bids
Set of Eleven William De Morgan 'Persian' Tiles
Mar 01, 10:00 AM EST
Set of Eleven William De Morgan 'Persian' Tiles
by STAIR
Est: $800- $1,200
$1,5003 Bids
Set of Five Tiles with Bluebell Design
Mar 01, 10:00 AM EST
Set of Five Tiles with Bluebell Design
by STAIR
Est: $300- $500
$1502 Bids
Group of William De Morgan Tiles in Complimentary Blue Flower Patterns
Mar 01, 10:00 AM EST
Group of William De Morgan Tiles in Complimentary Blue Flower Patterns
by STAIR
Est: $700- $900
$3502 Bids
Set of Thirty-Five William De Morgan Tiles with Blue Flower Design
Mar 01, 10:00 AM EST
Set of Thirty-Five William De Morgan Tiles with Blue Flower Design
by STAIR
Est: $1,500- $3,000
$8002 Bids
Box 8pc Le Corbusier Design Printed Tiles
Mar 01, 12:00 PM PST
Box 8pc Le Corbusier Design Printed Tiles
by District Auction
Est: $0- $0
$142 Bids
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Heather Knight Ceramic Wall Tile
Mar 06, 6:00 PM EST
Heather Knight Ceramic Wall Tile
by Market Auctions Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
Vintage Tile Art
Mar 29, 10:00 AM EDT
Vintage Tile Art
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $50- $1,000
$101 Bid
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Jean LURÇAT (1892-1966) Carreau encadré
Mar 13, 2:00 PM CET
Jean LURÇAT (1892-1966) Carreau encadré
by Artcurial
Est: €100- €150
€1001 Bid
T Castillo 20C Abstract Nude Pottery Tile Painting
Mar 13, 12:00 PM EDT
T Castillo 20C Abstract Nude Pottery Tile Painting
by MiddleManBrokers
Est: $1- $1,000
$11 Bid
A collection of five framed English and Dutch tiles, 18th/19th century
Mar 03, 11:00 AM AEDT
A collection of five framed English and Dutch tiles, 18th/19th century
by Gibson's
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD801 Bid
Set of Six William De Morgan Tiles with Cornflower Design
Mar 01, 10:00 AM EST
Set of Six William De Morgan Tiles with Cornflower Design
by STAIR
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
Antique Persian Ceramic Tile Plaque Hunting Scene
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Persian Ceramic Tile Plaque Hunting Scene
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $200- $2,000
$1001 Bid
After Mucha, Ceramic Art Tile Mural
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
After Mucha, Ceramic Art Tile Mural
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $100- $200
$750 Bids
After Landseer, Highland Dogs Ceramic Art Tile
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
After Landseer, Highland Dogs Ceramic Art Tile
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $100- $150
$750 Bids
Flaming June Ceramic Art Tile
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
Flaming June Ceramic Art Tile
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $50- $100
$400 Bids
After Klimt, Dancer Ceramic Art Tile Mural
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
After Klimt, Dancer Ceramic Art Tile Mural
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $300- $600
$2600 Bids
Still Life, Fruit, Grapes Ceramic Art Tile
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
Still Life, Fruit, Grapes Ceramic Art Tile
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $75- $150
$600 Bids
Art Nouveau-style Ocean Mermaid Ceramic Tile
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
Art Nouveau-style Ocean Mermaid Ceramic Tile
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $50- $100
$400 Bids
Antique Framed Portugeuse Tiles, House Welcoming
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
Antique Framed Portugeuse Tiles, House Welcoming
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $200- $400
$1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Ceramic Tiles


Veilinghuis Van Spengen

Veilinghuis Van Spengen

John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

Connoisseur Online

Connoisseur Online

STAIR

STAIR