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Templar Knight unglazed red clay tile

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    Posted 10 months ago

    (1 item)

    I'm hoping someone can help me solve the mystery of the Templar Knight red clay bas relief trivet tile! As despite searching over the years, I've never been able to figure out who actually made it. I bought it in downtown Vancouver in the early 1990's from a shop inside the now defunct old Vancouver Antique's Mall on Richard's Street & Hastings Street. It measures approx 6" x 6" and it's 1/2" thick. There's a pottery or maker's back-stamp but it's hard to read; best guess, the name starts with a letter "C" or "G". When I bought it, I was told it was mid-century British and had come off a fireplace surround. The design features a bas relief knight on horseback with a raise sword and a Templar cross on his shield, encircled by a rope twist molded band.

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    1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 months ago
      Might be CABINET.
    2. artsy artsy, 10 months ago
      Thanks for the suggestion, as I hadn't thought it could be a "T'. I'll do some more sniffing around now and search using that makers name! Cheers!
    3. artsy artsy, 10 months ago
      Update: Well, it's not a "T" at the end. At least nothing related to my mystery tile appeared in a Google search, when looking under "CABINET." And thus far, I haven't found any English potteries (names) starting with CAB....etc. I did take note however of the impressed design above the letters - it's an arch (or beehive shape) with 6 small circles (dots) positioned either side, near the top. Further down and below the arch, either side , are two smallish rectangles. After thinking about it some more, maybe it's not a "B" but "D"..? And maybe the last letter is an "N"..? I'll have to try a variety of letter combinations, see if that helps. I'm assuming of course the tile was actually made of red clay; it's a different color where some of the top color (red) has worn away. Also, you can see tiny grey-ish stones peaking thru the letters, on the back stamp. Ie: what if it's akin to a concrete roof tile? That sort of material? Hmm... the mystery continues!
    4. mp.kunst mp.kunst, 10 months ago
      I think the mark has a kiln shape, not a beehive
    5. artsy artsy, 10 months ago
      Yes, I think you're right! I've only ever seen the modern type of studio kiln; they're an octagon shape and have a lid, etc. But in the process of searching, I've since come to see other shapes, older kilns, but the penny still didn't drop, so thank-you! As that might help narrow it down.
    6. Hunter Hunter, 10 months ago
      Have you tried doing a rubbing of the area to see if the indentations show up more clearly? I'm seeing an "N" at the end. As in "CAB__EN". Good luck!
    7. artsy artsy, 10 months ago
      Yup, I tried that (made a rubbing). I also used Photoshop to look at it in B/W, higher contrast, but it didn't help - beyond making a better case for the last letter being an "N" owing to the slanted angle of the mid-section, while bearing in mind the letters are uppercase serif. As for the pottery's name, there's only so many possibilities in English if the first letter is a "C" - but it's the 4th and 5th letters giving me the most trouble! Only the serif feet (bottom) of those managed to survive (assuming the stamp was pressed down hard enough and uniformly, in the first place.) But at least I know there were feet - so those are likely an H or I or F (those sorts of shapes) and not a B, C, G, S, O, etc. Another "question mark" hanging over my tile is whether it's clay or simply a cement version of red stoneware or brick. As that red color is just a surface coating; you can see where it's flaked off. I don't know enough re: how it was made to help narrow down my search. What if it's unglazed or matte-glaze slipware? And if it was made in England in the 1960s, who was producing bas-relief decorative tiles featuring Templar motifs? And what inspired them? Who were their customers? Did movies like "King Richard and the Crusaders" (1954) or The War Lord (1965) or Ivanhoe (1952) give rise to interest in the Knights Templar? It's like a rabbit hole in the center of a labyrinth - or an episode of The Curse of Oak Island. LOL
    8. artsy artsy, 9 months ago
      HURRAY! I just solved it! The makers mark is "CADINEN"... and it's German! Or Prussian. Here's a summary of what I learned:

      In 1904, Kaiser Wilhelm II set up a pottery in the gardens of the Royal Summer Palace; his private estate near the East Prussian town of Cadinen (now the Polish town of Kadyny). They made copies of classical and Renaissance pottery but also produced original works. The pottery closed in 1944 owing to advance of the Red Army and the loss of the German speaking population.

      When I image Googled "Cadinen", it led to Cadiner Majolika, and there it was - examples of the same mark as the one on my tile! But much clearer. I also saw this:

      It's a bas-relief medallion of the Kaiser by Cadinen, circa 1905-1918. Which make me suspect that's approx when my Templar tile was made. Either way, it's pre-WW2 and not British. Gosh! I hope they're equally as lucky now on Oak Island.

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