Ken Townsend
photo © Terry Hulf

 

The Humorous World of

 

Tiles, c.1963-on

All the tiles were purchased, and produced by Ken independently and not by Iden Pottery (run by Dennis, Ken's brother), which appears to be a popular myth.

Tile Markings/Backstamps/Labels

Virtually all of the tiles featured Ken's backstamp, but there are odd occurrences where this is not apparent. Two styles of backstamp can be seen – the circular style stamped straight onto the back of the tile, and a long legend which was invariably used when a cork or fibre backing was used.

Pilkington Tiles mark

A new form of fitting, which differs from the more usual 'ring' and is mounted on a Candy tile. This was found on what is probably an earlier design for the Tiger: see Menagerie.

Kenneth Townsend fitting on Carter tile

The Longleat Gallery backstamp (below) was probably commisioned by the Longleat Safari Park.

Longleat backstamp

Below: Typical embossed marks found on tiles. Carter Tiles was the parent company of Carter Stabler Adams & Co., which was best known as the forerunner for Poole Pottery. Pilkington Tiles took over Carter Tiles, so tiles with this mark could be later editions. Some tiles have been noted with an embossed P + C. The last one featured here is obscured by glaze, but is marked Hereford Tiles Ltd.


Pilkington Tiles mark
Mark - Hereford Tiles

Best of British label

The 'Best of British' label signifies an outlet selling the Kenneth Townsend tiles.

The British Museum can be found in this street, and the premises are now occupied by a firm of solicitors.

Below is an image showing the original boxes used to house the tiles. This example has the Lifeguard (No. 29) tile.

Lifeguard box

Links:
Horoscope
Menagerie
Scenes of London

Kenneth Townsend Price List
Above: Extract from the 1979 price list showing the four styles of tiles that were available

Original numbers for tiles, Aug. 1979

  1. Fox
  2. Hen
  3. Owl
  4. Hedgehog (fwd look)
  5. Seahorse
  6. Cockerel
  7. Seal
  8. Tiger
  9. Pig
  10. Cow
  11. Fish
  12. Donkey
  13. Gorilla
  14. Robin
  15. Elk
  16. Lion
  17. Pelican
  18. Cat (spikey)
  19. Mouse
  20. Elephant
  21. Frog
  22. Ram
  23. Hedgehog (side view)
  24. Cat (Cheshire)
  25. British Lion

26. City Gent
27. Chelsea Pensioners
28. Lifeguard
29. Beefeater
30. Grenadier Guards

Missing from list, so assumed to be earlier (or later) introductions
Cockerel (facing left, yellow comb)
Whale

 

  The Kenneth Townsend web site is copyright © David P Encill
Image rights copyright © The Townsend family
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