Tile experts baffled by historic mosaic discovered in Hanley cafe

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Ceramics experts are still baffled by the origins of a historic mosaic discovered in a Hanley cafe.

The owners of (tsp.) cafe in Piccadilly Taz Harrison and Gav Tilstone lifted up an old doormat and were amazed to find the piece of art by the door when they were refurbishing the building.

Taz said: “We decided to have a peek underneath the doormat, which initially was quite scary, because we realised that whatever we found underneath we would be responsible for.

“Immediately we were struck with the design – we fell in love with it.”

Since the discovery, ceramic enthusiasts from around Staffordshire have flocked to the café, hoping to find out a bit more about the history of the mosaic.

Some have speculated it could have come from Stoke-on-Trent manufacturer Minton, which was founded in 1793 by Thomas Minton, though this cannot be verified.

The company, which merged with Royal Doulton in the 1960s, became known for Victorian tile mosaics, which are now rare finds and can be worth thousands of pounds.

Danny Callaghan, who runs Ceramic City Stories, an online resource dedicated to creating a map of areas of historical interest around the Potteries, investigated the (tsp.) cafe find.

He said: “Style-wise, it’s an art nouveau design, and it’s very beautiful, with flowing lines.

“It’s got a central motif, or roundel as it’s called, which is very stylised, probably the initials of the original shop owner.

“The only way to be sure about the makers of a mosaic is if you can get hold of the original building contract, or possibly a bill of sale from the maker that explicitly references this property.”

The excavation and clean-up of the tile artwork is still underway.

Anyone with information about the piece is being asked to contact (tsp.) on 01782 280524.

Click on the video below for more about the discovery:

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