Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    Surrey (possibly, made)
    Hampshire (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1550 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moulded red earthenware, with lead glaze stained green with copper oxide

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Susan Minet

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 58, case 1

Object Type
One of several similar stove tiles to survive, this object shows the level of sophistication to which the court and nobility of Tudor England aspired.

The Tudors, as fairly recent upstarts, took an almost obsessive interest in their ancestry and their claims to the English throne, allowing their arms to be used in a wide variety of decorative contexts. Henry VIII in particular was fired with ambition to raise the status of the English monarchy, and to be wholly identified with the British people, and latterly with the Protestant cause in its struggle with Roman Catholicism and the Holy Roman Empire. This tile, which is almost indistinguishable from earlier examples bearing the initials of Henry VIII, was clearly intended to show continuity of the dynasty under his son Edward VI.

Ownership & Use
By about 1500 the wood-fired ceramic stove was widely used in Northern Europe. Built up entirely from deep concave moulded tiles, with both stoke-hole and flue outside the room, they were clean in use and eminently suitable for application to a large hall, or a heated bath chamber such as that excavated at the Tudor Palace of Whitehall. Though well suited to the British climate, these stoves never became popular and the technique of making moulded tiles, probably introduced by German potters working on the Surrey-Hampshire borders, did not take root in England. Despite their manifest disadvantages, open fires continued to be favoured in England.

Place of Origin

Surrey (possibly, made)
Hampshire (possibly, made)


ca. 1550 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Moulded red earthenware, with lead glaze stained green with copper oxide


Height: 34.6 cm, Width: 25.5 cm, Depth: 6.7 cm

Object history note

Probably made on the Surrey-Hampshire borders; moulded with the royal arms and 'ER', probably for Edward VI (ruled 1547-1553), and possibly intended for one of the royal palaces in or around London

Descriptive line

Stove tile

Labels and date

British Galleries:
No complete English stove survives from this period, but tiles like this do survive or have been excavated from vanished royal palaces. The simple design, has military trophies in the pilasters. It shows how useful the symmetrical classical arch was as a framing device for heraldry, badges and inscriptions. [27/03/2003]


Ceramics; Tiles; British Galleries


Ceramics Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.