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Unread 09-28-2002, 08:47 PM   #1
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Location: SoCal formerly Austin TX.
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Saw this:


last week saw one, uno, 1 peice of plain 4x4 green grueby tile go for over $600.00.

anyone have a box of this stuff laying around?

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Unread 09-29-2002, 05:01 PM   #2
John Bridge
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Those are Batchelder tiles. If they are authentic, they may be worth more than you think.

There are a number of ceramic shops around the country and the world that are pretty serious about emulating Batchelder's style.

One of them has exchanged links with johnbridge.com Say hi to Stephani.

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Unread 09-29-2002, 10:59 PM   #3
Bud Cline
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"Tiles: 1000 years of Architectural Decoration"

Ernest Allan Batchelder (1875-1957) was another important designer of tiles who set up his own company. The Batchelder Tile Company was founded in 1909, but Batchelder had been actively involved in the Arts and Crafts movement long before this date. He had directed the Department of Arts and Crafts at Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena, and written widely on the subject of design. When he left Throop in 1909, he built a kiln behind his home in Pasadena and began to produce decorative tiles. His designs owe much to Grueby and Mercer, but his handling of the clay resulted in tiles with a clearly individual style. Batchelder's floor tiles, for example, are uniformly moulded, and although they have an earthy quality and matte glaze, are more refined than Mercer's. Batchelder's most popular motifs include Mayan designs, birds, foliage and geometric abstracts.

Batchelder architectural tiles met with great success, and the company moved twice, expanding each time. Its tiles appear on the walls and floors of many New York City apartment house lobbies, and can be found in shops, restaurants, swimming pools and hotels throughout the United States. One of Batchelder's last and largest projects was the Hershey Hotel in Hershey, Pennsylvania, built by the famous chocolate manufacturer in 1930, in order to give jobs to many local residents who would otherwise have been unemployed during the Depression. Batchelder tiles were used on the walls, floors and stair risers of a dazzling fountain room, complete with central pool and a mezzanine level. Unfortunately, Batchelder's company, which had employed 150 men at its peak, was itself forced out business by the Depression in 1932, although Batchelder continued to make pottery in a small shop in Pasadena until the early 1950s. In addition to the Batchelder Tile Company, there were numerous other California tile manufacturers. The abundant local clays, inexpensive fuel and power and cheap labour were all factors that contributed to an active tile industry, while the rapidly growing population led to a continual demand for new buildings. Moreover, the most popular local architectural styles, such as Spanish, Mediterranean and Colonial Revival, use large amounts of tile.

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Unread 09-29-2002, 11:29 PM   #4
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Been going to tile shows and such. Some of the Grueby, Rookwood,Batchelder stuff is pretty amazing.The Gamble house in Pasadena is like going to Disney land for me.
Just blows me away when i see a single Grueby 4x4 go for so much.
Trying to break into restoration work here, have done a few projects but its a tight market.
Anyone specialize in restoration work that freqent this forum?
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Unread 09-30-2002, 01:13 AM   #5
Sonnie Layne
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You're way over my head when it comes to the tile stuff. Here in Dallas restoration has come to define a contractor who moves in immediately after a fire/flood etc.

I bill myself as a restoration specialist in the same terms you do. My experience is more with woodwork, mouldings and of course painting. Nothing really old, tho'. Mostly turn of the last century...oops... we've had another turn, eh? Well mostly around birth of the 20th century. I think 1889 is my oldest so far (Dallas ain't that old). Had to rebuild some roofing detail. Tile wasn't a real hot thing here residentially, but I see it in a lot of our commercial/retail buildings of the time. I've had experience on much older stuff in New Orleans, back then I didn't know anything about tile, but learned a bit about masonry. Still, sadly I've pretty much been a painter/musician . In that regard, it's not easy to match paris green with available products. Seems I've been drawn into more retro work in the past several years, not many left that care enough about preservation on my scale. I'm not able to place bids on jobs that require hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure the ambiance of an old theatre, for instance.

Had a paint company just a few years ago that encouraged me to propose work for a cathedral. Lots of moulded plaster and gilded cherubs. They wanted me to do the work, but I'd have ended my career much too early. Some co out of NJ got the bid at nearly 8 mil. I'd still be working on it at nights just to pay the IRS.

So, small I am, but I love working on old stuff. Nice to know about the tile.
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Unread 09-30-2002, 09:00 AM   #6
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Unread 09-30-2002, 12:58 PM   #7
Sonnie Layne
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Thanks Flatfloor, I keep tryin', but I keep running into lyrics.
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