Antique Tiles & Vintage Decorative Arts
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J. & J. G. Low

J & JG Low Tile Panel Birds and Berries Fireplace Surround Fragment

$ 550.00
The J & JG Low Art Tile Company in Chelsea MA was one of the first American tile companies. In the 1880's they manufactured tiles for the American upper classes. This partial tile panel comes from a fireplace surround, described in the Low catalog as "Bird and Berry" and Hand Modeled. These tiles are in super high relief. The wings and feathers of the bird and the leaves rise tall off the surface and are undercut with lots of hand work. The backs are made more like their plastic sketches by Arthur Osbourne than tiles. The walls of the back are scraped out by hand and stamped numerous times.

The scene shows a bird about to land on a branch of a hawthorn tree. It's a striking image with the bird and leaves modeled in such a sculptural form. The panel measures 8" high and 14 1/2" wide. The left tile measures 8" x 6 1/2". The right tiles measures 8" x 8". The left tile is in excellent condition. The right tile has been professionally and invisibly repaired, probably to chips on the wing and branch. Beautiful color and design, this is an uncommon find.

The Hawthorn is a tree of magical enchantment and is strongly associated with Beltane, the ancient festival celebrating spring. In Celtic mythology it is one of the most sacred trees and symbolizes love and protection. It is also known as the Fairy Tree, as fairies live under the Hawthorn as its guardians, and so was treated with great respect and care. However, politely collecting Hawthorn sprigs and flowers was allowed, especially by brides, who wore Hawthorn blossom in their hair or bouquet to symbolize their union of love.

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