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  • Place of origin:

    Stoke-on-Trent (made)

  • Date:

    1882-1890 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Campbell Tile Company (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Earthenware, with inlaid decoration (encaustic)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122, case 8

Object Type
Encaustic tiles were produced in large quantities from the mid 19th century. The principal market for the tiles was for churches, both new and restored.

The partnership between Colin Minton Campbell and Michael Daintry Hollins ended in 1868. It produced a split in the famous Minton company, with Campbell in charge of china production at Minton's China Works, and Hollins producing tiles of various types at Minton, Hollins & Co. Campbell also started to produce tiles, but it was not until he took over an existing tileworks in 1875 that production of encaustic and mosaic floor tiles began. This business was originally styled the Minton Brick & Tile Co., though a lawsuit brought by Hollins forced Campbell to drop 'Minton' from the name. Henceforth the firm traded as the Campbell Brick & Tile Co. until switching to simply the Campbell Tile Co. in 1882.

Subjects Depicted
Encaustic tiles were a good medium for depicting religious symbols and played an important part in ecclesiastical decorative schemes. The symbols on this tile represent incidents from the Passion Cycle (the suffering and crucifixion of Christ). This tile shows the cross and ladder, and the inscription 'INRI', which stands for the Latin Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum ('Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews'). According to the Gospels, this phrase was written by Pontius Pilate and attached to the cross.

Physical description

Tile with Symbols of The Passion

Place of Origin

Stoke-on-Trent (made)


1882-1890 (made)


Campbell Tile Company (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Earthenware, with inlaid decoration (encaustic)

Marks and inscriptions



Height: 15.2 cm, Width: 15.2 cm

Object history note

Made by the Campbell Tile Company, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Descriptive line

Tile with Passion Symbols

Labels and date

British Galleries:

Thousands of British churches were restored or built during Queen Victoria's reign. Architects and manufacturers worked together to provide designs for items such as tiles and metalwork, developing new techniques of production to satisfy demand. [27/03/2003]

Subjects depicted

Ladder; Instruments of the Passion; Cross


Ceramics; Earthenware; Tiles


Ceramics Collection

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