This Lady in a Hat tile measures approx 6” x 6” square and 5/8” thick and was manufactured at the turn of the century. The tile features a profile cameo bust of the lady in high relief, glazed in a rich tobacco glaze, with expected surface crazing, finished to a high gloss. The modeling and toning of the facial features and details of the hat are exquisite. This tile does not include a makers mark on obverse but it does bear the (B) cypher of Issac Broome on the front in the bottom right. Signed tiles in display condition are very hard to come by.
The top right corner of the tile had been damaged and restored at some point (more obvious on the rear than the front). This doesn’t detract from the overall impact of the piece.
Without a makers mark, it’s hard to determine if this tile was produced by the Trent Tile Co. or Provident Tile Works as Isaac Broome was the star modeler for both, making his transition from the latter to the former in 1885. Both companies were famous for their dust-pressed, embossed tiles created in mechanical, fly-wheel presses that were then colored with translucent glazes that accentuated the relief designs. Principally made to adorn fireplace mantels, many were produced in a contiguous series designed to surround a fireplace opening—as was the fashion in upscale homes in the late 19th century
The tile has been framed in a beautiful antique walnut frame and is ready for hanging. This is an excellent specimen to add to an American art tile collection or to reclaim for use as a focal piece in a bathroom, kitchen, entryway or fireplace surround.
Do note, the high gloss makes these tiles difficult to photograph. I’ve included several shots of the front and do not mistake glare for a defect.