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  • Place of origin:

    Sandbanks (made)
    Leatherhead (printed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1964 (made)
    ca. 1964 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Carter Tiles (maker)
    Dorincourt Potters (printer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glazed earthenware

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Boardroom, case CA8, shelf 1

This tile was one of hundreds of products produced in the early 1960s illustrated with images of The Beatles. The Liverpool band started at the end of the 1950s with John Lennon, who was in a band called The Quarrymen. He was joined by Paul McCartney who brought his school friend George Harrison into the band. They perfected their sound during lunchtime concerts at Liverpool's Cavern Club, and clubs in Hamburg, and were brought to prominence by the record shop manager Brian Epstein. Epstein recognised their appeal and secured a record deal for them with EMI Parlophone records, after Decca turned them down. EMI's George Martin, a classical musician and composer, helped them develop their talents further and they went on to become the most successful recording artists in musical history.

The earliest examples of Beatles' merchandising were produced in the United States, after Brian Epstein sold a company called Seltaeb the rights to license it. After a flood of successful Beatles items from stockings to talcum powder, Epstein realised the lucrative potential of the market and kept firm control of the licensing. This tile is one of a set of five produced in England, one representing each individual band member and one showing the group.

Physical description

Rectangular earthenware tile, glazed recto and printed with an under-glaze transfer print of The Beatles - from left to right playing their guitars George, Paul and John, and sitting at the Vox drum kit, Ringo. With their autographs around the image, 'THE BEATLES' along the lower edge and the artist's monogram 'IW' bottom right.

Place of Origin

Sandbanks (made)
Leatherhead (printed)


ca. 1964 (made)
ca. 1964 (printed)


Carter Tiles (maker)
Dorincourt Potters (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Glazed earthenware

Marks and inscriptions

In relief letters, verso.

Monogram, possibly IW
Recto, bottom right


Height: 15.2 cm, Width: 15.2 cm

Object history note

Historical significance: These tiles would have been issued circa 1964, at the height of the craze for The Beatles.

Descriptive line

Glazed earthenware tile decorated by Dorincourt Potters with an image of The Beatles in performance, English, ca. 1964

Production Note

The tiles were made by Carter Tiles and decorated by Dorincourt Potters. Dorincourt Industries was a charity working with disabled people and had a range of services, much of it with a graphic arts association. In about 1999 a new company was formed, Dorincourt Lion Litho, with 15% of all future profits going to the Queen Elizabeth Foundation for the disabled.


Earthenware; Glaze




Theatre and Performance Collection

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