The best way to learn about historic houses is to look at them closely, and the most fun way to look at them closely is to do a puzzle showing a wonderful historic house! So, we made a unique and interesting collection of Historic House Puzzles for you to enjoy!
The Victorians loved elaborate patterning, much of it drawn from the landmark publication of Owen Jones’ “Grammar of Ornament” in 1856. These tiles, produced with a transfer-printed pattern combining strapwork and naturalistic floral design elements, are a good example from the 1880’s.
For the puzzle image, a 6” x 6” tile image is set on the diagonal, overlaid on a field of the same tile at a smaller scale. The potter was Sherwin & Cotton, in operation from 1877–1911 in Hanley, Staffordshire.
The British potteries that produced ceramic tiles shipped them all over the globe. Many millions of pieces were shipped to the US and used in American homes. This tile is documented in the Transferware Collectors Club’s Database of more than 17,000 patterns produced by British potters between 1750 and 1900. The database is available to TCC members only but can be accessed by non-members for 24 hours for a fee: www.transferwarecollectorsclub.org.
Historic ceramic tile and sources for reproduction tile are covered in detail in “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.”
Click on the dashed box at the top-right in the puzzle box below to open the puzzle to full screen. In the top left, you can change the number of pieces (100 pieces is the default), toggle piece rotation, and change the background color. Then hit “OK” and have fun!