Tile in Metal Trivet Mount
On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Glazed earthenware, metal
1 1/4 x 6 5/8 x 6 3/4 in. (3.2 x 16.8 x 17.1 cm) (show scale)
Molded on bottom: "I. T. Co. / B I W [in pretzel] / B. N. Y."; incised free-hand, " Mar[?] 2/2 990 W"
Bequest of Marie Bernice Bitzer, by exchange
Glazed earthenware square tile with brown transfer-printed decoration in metal trivet mount. Large central fan motif of three gesticulating Asian males in landscape with large vessel to proper left with lower legs of fourth upside-down figure protruding from top and crack to side of vessel with liquid gushing forth. All superimposed on narrow fretwork band with dark ground below and light above. At proper left, tall cylindrical vase with flowered branches surrounding fan. Quarter floral roundel at proper left bottom corner. Twisted wire metal mount with patination and two loops along each side and double loops at corners.
CONDITION: Good. Firing flaw to top of vessel in central design. Scratches due to normal wear.
International Tile Company. Tile in Metal Trivet Mount, ca. 1882-1888. Glazed earthenware, metal, 1 1/4 x 6 5/8 x 6 3/4 in. (3.2 x 16.8 x 17.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Marie Bernice Bitzer, by exchange, 1995.56 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1995.56_bw.jpg)
overall, 1995.56_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Can you tell me more about this tile?
This tile was made in Brooklyn in the 1880s. At this time, American designers were strongly influenced by the decorative arts of Asia. The scene being can be found on many pieces of 18th century Chinese and Japanese porcelain. It shows the hero Sze-Ma Kwang (called Shiba Onko in Japan) saving the life of a child by breaking the large jar into which the youngster had fallen. This story was also copied by many English pottery makers, who described the pattern as “Hob in the Well”.