Hand Painted tile with Woman and Rake “The Harvester” Wheeling Pottery Co Wheeling, West Virginia, USA 1890. Seen here at rubylane.
Pieces of hardened clay decorated with figures or geometric designs are found on walls and floors and under teapots all over the world. Everybody seems to like tiles.
The above 4 span hundreds of years. Found here
And these three are being produced today. The are the work of company based in Tuscany, ND Dolfi. More from them and other current, handmade tile producers in Italy here.
Cubans like decorative tile floors, at home and at work. Image of a nicely tiled floor in a Havana barbershop, from the book Inside Havana, seen here
More nice Cuban tile in Havana shown in the slide show, just click the right image or here
In Barcelona, they break tiles to make amazing new patterns. Seen here.
England’s Victoria and Albert Museum, is a treasurehouse dedicated to the decorative arts, and that includes tiles and tile designs.
Above is a pencil and waterclour drawing of tile designs by Owen Jones at the V&A
More above by Owen Jones, for his book the Grammar of Ornament, from the V & A
These 3 from a highly respected English tilemaker, Maw & C0, collected here. From the left: 1935, 1880, and 1950
This book published by the V&A will tell you just about all you want to know.
Because tiles are durable, attractive, and low maintenance, they have been used as signs in cities all over the world, including in the underground/subway systems of Paris, London, and New York . This NYC subway sign from a nice post at Venetian Red.
There are even tiles for people with a sweet tooth: tile cookies found here.