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The Collections:

The Parker-Hore Archive Collection of Watercolours of Paving-tiles
held in Worcester and in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford


The study of architectural ceramics


Fleur-de-lys, quatrefoils, rosettes, roses and knot designs

The fleur-de-lys, originally a Persian motif, was adopted by Clovis (King of the Franks 465 - 511 AD) and finally became France's heraldic emblem in the twelfth century.

Some designs were associated with weaving technology - the positive and negative space used by felt workers, working east of Iran. Such designs have a very long pedigree and continued to be used on items such as saddle bags until the nineteenth century (e.g. G086).

16 tile design (Ashmolean)Foliage becomes more popular at the end of the medieval period.

Circular and repeating designs made of four, nine or sixteen two-colour tiles were favoured by the Chiltern tileries in England. These tiles were supplied to Windsor Castle and further east to London, as well are supplying the region to the west of the Chilterns including Oxford and its Colleges.

There were also many plain tiles, some are early mosaic pieces mentioned in the archive, but the majority of the plain tiles are not quantified in any way. However, they played a very important part in the design and patterning of the overall pavement (see pavements from Westminster and St Pierre-sur-Dives, northern France above).

Image: 16 tile design (Ashmolean)
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Copyright of this digital resource will be held jointly by
the Ashmolean Museum, Worcester City Museum & Art Gallery and by the Worcestershire Archaeological Society.
Copyright of the original drawings is held by
the Ashmolean Museum and by the Worcestershire Archaeological Society respectively.

last updated: jcm/7-jun-2004

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