The history of Encaustic Tiles in Australia

Encaustic tiles are an intrinsic element of the Victorian architectural aesthetic and are delightful complements to any tessellated tile floor. They represent a major step forward in the technological advance of 19th century ceramic tile manufacture in England.

Renewed interest in Gothic decoration in the early 19th century stimulated a demand for medieval style inlaid tiles, which had been extensively employed in the floors of medieval monasteries.

Around 1828 Herbert Minton began experiments in producing what came to be known as 'encaustic tiles'. By 1835, with the assistance of Samuel Wright, he released a pattern book of 62 encaustic designs based on medieval originals. Important ecclesiastical commissions soon followed, but in 1844 Minton & Co. received a commission to supply an encaustic pavement for Queen Victoria's Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. Where Queen Victoria led everyone followed. The fashion for encaustic tiles was given its greatest impetus from Gothic Revivalist architect AWN Pugin, who recommended them for religious and secular buildings alike. Encaustics were laid in the new Houses of Parliament at Westminster (1852) and the House of Representatives in Washington DC (1855), as well as palaces, mansions, schools, civic and domestic buildings, especially churches, around the world.

Olde English Tiles Australia has assembled an extensive collection of traditional patterned encaustic tiles to enable the designer, builder or DIY'er to create an authentic period ambience. They're perfect for creating those beautiful accents in any tessellated tile floor.

See Encaustic Tiles collection

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