Looking for something to collect? Maybe something not too expensive , interesting? Something which displays well and at least has a chance of going up in value over the coming years? I have a suggestion for you Maw decorative tiles from the 1970s and 1980s.


These tiles are really well made and are highly decorative. They are hand tubelined and have a majolica glaze. Both of these are way too labour intensive / costly to make it possible to produce them today .



Hand tubelining is a process a bit like icing decoration onto a cake, the liquid clay is skillfully squeezed from a tube into the required pattern. Majolica glazes contain lead, they have strong shiny colours, they were particularly used during the Victorian era.

There are individual tiles and panels made up of two or more. Each is 8 x 8 inches. You will normally find them framed and ready to hang on your wall.

I once had a large collection of these as even though they were relatively new they looked good in my old Victorian house especially the ones depicting Victorian advertising and street sellers.

Particularly collectable are the series of 4 seasons and the Art Nouveau style ladies with flowing hair – there is a pair which face in opposite directions. There’s also a wide range of birds, the peacock panels come in several colourways and are beautiful . You can find sportsmen, whimsical children, Japanese scenes and many more.

Now whilst these tiles are known and labelled as Maw they were actually made by H&R Johnson who owned the trade mark and obviously thought that Maw was a good name to market them under. It must have worked as hundreds were produced. You can find them with two different labels.

The earlier label is from the later 1970s through to mid 1980s and is a little simpler than the later one from the mid 1980s to later 1980s  . Both explain about majolica tiles and the tube-lining technique which makes this type of tile so special. Here is the text from the latter.

Majolica painting of ceramic tiles was at its height in the second half of the 19th century and Maws who specialised in the form of decoration were the leaders in this field.

The raised outline on the tile is used not only to create the subject matters but acts as a wall to separate the various majolica colours and effect.

This expertise has laid dormant at Maw’s until its re-introduction in 1974 when local craftsmanship was united in an effort to revive what was a forgotten art…. today Maws have an extensive range of Majolica paintings which include re-introductions from the Victorian period, limited editions, wall murals and individual items.

All the tiles here are from Maws, do lets see any you have and maybe create a gallery.