Johann von Schwarz Framed Tile, ca. 1900
This has been at my mom's house ever since I was a little boy. And I've always admired it, and when she passed away it, you know, I got it through the estate.
Well, it's a really lovely example of a tile that was made by a company called Johan von Schwarz. The company was originally in Nuremberg, Germany.
And they opened in 1859. They were closed by 1921. And the man who designed it-- because von Schwarz was no longer there-- the man who deigned it was called Karl Luber, and Karl Luber specialized in these beautiful art nouveau depictions that often had ladies with long, flowing hair and flowers. They did a lot of tiles like this and some vases and some plates as well. The most collectible of the whole group are the tiles.
It dates from about 1896 to 1906. That's when Luber was there. Sometimes you see them in an old frame such as this. Sometimes they have metal frames. Sometimes they were built into a tray or a wall sconce. Things like that. What makes these tiles special is that they used different techniques to make the actual tile. Those lines that you see here, these clay walls, the name for this technique is "cuenca." C-U-E-N-C-A. That's a Spanish term. These tiles were pressed into molds that would have had incisions. Your actually tile would have these raised lines, these walls, and then you would fill these separate sections with the glazes, and the glazes will stay exactly where they're supposed to go. The colors are majolica glazes. The majolica glazes are opaque and very bright, but this company also did a lot of hand painting and no one else would do that, so that makes it really special. Karl Luber would hand-paint the faces and the hands. It would take longer, it would be more expensive to make, but it would make a really lovely little composition. It is in a very old frame, probably the original frame. And today's price at auction would probably be about $1,500. If you wanted to put insurance value on this, it would probably be more like $2,000.
Wow. I wouldn't have thought that much. (laughs)
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