4 vintage modern tiles — pretty as a peacock

ruscha tileI love midcentury modern decorative wall tiles — so tactile, so rich in their colors and fanciful in their design. These are great collectibles and “mix it up” in terms of adding texture and visual interest to your walls or tabletops. I went poking around Bungalow Bill’s website to see what new/old eye candy he had to entertain and delight (or buy) and found a flock of peacocks that made me very happy indeed. If you got it, flaunt it. If you don’t got it, get it. Above: “A large mid century modern tile by Ruscha. It has all the colors popular in the early 60’s decor; red, persian blue and emerald green,” Bill says. Three more birds of a feather follow –>

Knabstrup Denmark peacock wall tile

Above: Peacock tile designed by Inge Exner 1961-1962, for Knabstrup, Denmark. Yes: A tile can be “Danish Modern,” too.

Above: The maker of this pretty guy seems to be a mystery. Bill say it’s German.

helen greenleaf lane tileFinally, above: Okay, so this is not mid-century modern, it’s earlier. But it is quite beautiful — and the most valuable of the bunch. Bills says:

This 7-inch round tile has an embossed figure of a peacock with his tail spread wide. It was made by Helen Greenleaf Lane. Similar examples can be seen in on the cover of Volume 4 of the Encyclopedia of American Art Tile by Norman Karlson, and in Volume 2 of California Tile: The Golden Era 1910-1940. Lane studied pottery at the University of Southern California under Glen Lukens. Her output from her studio in Upland was short, only between 1920-1929. Seldom do tiles from this artist surface for sale. The condition remains excellent with no chips, cracks, or repairs.

Thank you, Bill, for giving me permission to feature these photos. Readers, check out all of Bungalow Bill’s beautiful wares on his website here.

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