Images of two of the Clement Heaton-attributed tiles bought at auction, supplied by our letter writer Bruce Hamilton, showing the subtle differences in detail which become obvious when viewed closely, proving they are hand painted rather than transfer printed.

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It states they are transfer printed and painted tiles from a set of 16. The V&A collection says 16 but I know of at least 24 different ones. They are also only hand painted. No transfers are used on these tiles.

Please see accompanying photos where the differences in detail between the two hand-painted tiles of the same design is fairly obvious.

A similar group of 12 tiles sold in Lyon & Turnbull’s dec arts sale in October for a hammer price of £4800 (see below).

The bird and fish designs on the Gibbs and Moore tiles (on Minton blanks) are also hand painted freehand – no transfers here either.

I would like to point this out in defence of the skilled work of the artists who executed the designs and also of my decision to fork out the necessary funds to purchase this lot.

Bruce Hamilton


The 13 ‘Aesop’s’ tiles attributed to Clement Heaton for Minton, Hollins & Co sold at Lyon & Turnbull’s Decorative Arts: Design Since 1860 auction on October 23 last year. They made a hammer price of £4800 against an estimate of £500-800.