Maw And Company Majolica Tiles
The tile firm of Maw & Co. was founded in 1850 when brothers George and Arthur Maw purchased a failing tile manufacturing firm in Worcester, G.B. The company specialty was in encaustic and mosaic tile manufacture. In 1852 in order to expand their business the company moved to a larger facility in Shropshire to the Benthall Works at Broseley where they could take advantage of the local supplies of clay and coal.
Maw & Co. factory buildingsMaw & Co. Benthall Works Photo: David StowellArthur Maw Photo:©Victoria and Albert Museum, LondonAround 1862 the company expanded to include majolica tile among its products as well as transfer printed and and portrait tiles in the style of Email Ombrant. By 1883 the company had established itself as one of the largest tile manufactures in the Great Britain, producing tiles for use across the globe. Maw also produced a small quantity of art pottery.
Maw art pottery Photo:© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Maw art pottery Photo: ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Maw art pottery Photo:©Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Majolica designs from the 1867 catalog
Majolica and encaustic catalog pages
The company continued to expand and moved its location again to Jackfield. At the height of their production the Maw was producing in excess of 20 million tiles a year with clients that included the royal family of Russia, maharajas in India, several titled families throughout G.B., schools hospitals and cathedrals.
Old Library, Cardiff, Wales Photo: Sion
By 1900 Maw & Co was the largest tile manufacturer in the world.
Whereas the bulk of the family business continued to be encaustic tiles their production of majolica tiles rival the quality of Minton and Wedgwood who were the company's main competitors. Like Minton, the bulk of their majolica tiles were of the tube-lined variety. Tube-lining is a process where liquid clay is squeezed from a tube onto the tile in a required pattern like the outline of a coloring book. The spaces between the lines are then filled with majolica glazes to create the finished tile.
However, the company also did molded majolica tiles in the style of the large majolica manufacturers where three dimensional surfaces were then glazed in different colors. These are among the most beautiful tiles created by Maw.
Designed by Charles Bevan c.1870
Photo: © Victoria and Albert Museum, Londonc. 1885 Photo: Victoria and Albert MuseumDesigner–Lewis Foreman Day c.1890 Photo: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Changing tastes affected the family business sales after WW1 and production slowly declined. In 1960 Maw merged with Campbell Tile and changed its name to Maw-Cambell Co. In 1968 the company became part of the H.R. Johnson Group. The company finally shut its doors in 1970 after 120 years in business.
In 2001 Maw and Co. reopened as a specialty company under new leadership and today manufactures reproduction tiles from the Victorian era.