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  • Place of origin:

    Stoke-on-Trent (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1845 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    A.W. Pugin, born 1812 - died 1852 (designer)
    Minton (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Earthenware with inlaid glazed 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.

Design & Designing
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 growing demand. These tiles were designed by Pugin specifically for the altar area of a church. The designs appear in his 'Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament' (1846).

Subjects Depicted
The four tiles bear symbolic representations of the Four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, represented by an angel, a winged lion, a winged ox, and an eagle. These conventions had been established in the Medieval period, and are found regularly in Romanesque and Gothic art. Pugin's re-use of this symbolic imagery in the 19th century is yet another example of his re-working of Medieval religious themes.

Place of Origin

Stoke-on-Trent (made)


ca. 1845 (designed)


A.W. Pugin, born 1812 - died 1852 (designer)
Minton (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Earthenware with inlaid glazed decoration (encaustic)


Height: 43.4 cm, Width: 43.4 cm, Depth: 4.5 cm

Object history note

Designed by A.W.N. Pugin (born in London, 1812, died in Ramsgate, Kent, 1852); made by Minton & Co., Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Descriptive line

One of a set of four tiles with symbols of the evangelists

Labels and date

British Galleries:
These tiles, designed by the architect A.W.N. Pugin were specifically for the altar area of a church. Encaustic tiles also became popular for houses and public buildings. [27/03/2003]

Subjects depicted



Ceramics; Earthenware; Tiles; Christianity; British Galleries


Ceramics Collection

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