Cottier & Company Painted Tile, ca. 1880
How long have you had this?
I've had it about 35 years.
Do you mind telling me what you paid for it, Bill?
Somewhere in the neighborhood of around $60 to $75.
Well, it's a painting on tile panel that was probably done in the early 1880s. It's very typical of the English aesthetic style, a style we associate with the painter Walter Crane, the illustrator, and particularly the pre-Raphaelite movement in English oil painting. She's magnificently painted. You've had it a long time, and I wouldn't be surprised-- and don't let me embarrass you-- if it hasn't been cleaned that much since then. I'm going to clean a small area just with a wet wipe here. This is not an oil painting, so I'm not damaging it. It's painted in enamels on glazed earthenware. This would come up beautifully. What I notice on the bottom here is a little signature of the artist, and the name is Cottier. I don't know if you can just pick that up, but we needn't bother with that signature because it's beautifully signed on the back. There's no doubt about this-- Cottier & Company. Cottier & Company worked on pieces made by well-made and well-known English manufacturers, including the Minton company. This tile panel was made by the Minton factory, and we can date it because this symbol in the center here-- looks like a kind of wheel with a cross-- tells us it was made in 1882. That's right at the right time for Cottier & Company to be decorating. So we have a wonderful example of a Minton tile panel painted by a rare decorating studio with their mark—something that's not widely recorded. I'm going to turn it around one more time so we can just see how magnificent she really is. I think you've made a very good investment, Bill. You have a piece here with a value today of, I would estimate, at least $4,000 and perhaps as much as $6,000.
$4,000 to $6,000?
That's correct, sir. Thank you for bringing her in.
Oh! I almost lost my glasses over that one.
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