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Style Other / Ref.12833

Emile Müller (1823-1889), Set of earthenware panels, circa 1880-1889


19th century.

Good condition.

This set of earthenware panels for architectural decoration was made by the ceramicist Emile Müller (1823-1889) between 1880 and 1889. It is composed of seven square panels each adorned with a blue flower rised with yellow in relief in a green and yellow frame, and fourteen tiles forming frizes in a slight relief with palms decoration appearing in the tilefactory's catalogue.

Émile Müller was the architect of the workers housing estate in Mulhouse. He founded in 1854, the “Grande Tuilerie” in Ivry Port (Seine). At first he used ceramic products on buildings and industries, then in 1884, he developed an enamelled Terracotta, which he used on architectural decoration and artistic reproductions. His prestigious works, such as these, went on to achieve great recognition, both in France and abroad. The “Grande Tuilerie” won awards at the Universal Exhibitions in Amsterdam (1883), Anvers (1885) and Chicago (1893).
At the World's Fair of 1889, the “Grande Tuilerie” was a huge hit and received a grand prize. For this same exhibition, Émile Müller built the stoneware balustrades for the Eiffel Tower. It stood out from its competitors because it used porcelain stoneware tiles, a material which went on to open up new markets for businesses. When Émile Müller died in 1889, his son, Louis took on running the “Grande Tuilerie”, under the name “Émile Müller and company”. The society became “the largest factory of ceramic products for buildings, industries and works of art in the world”.
The “Grande Tuilerie” quickly specialised in architectural ceramics, which developed over fifty years, from 1870 to 1914. Émile Müller, then Louis, went on to work with architects, including Hector Guimard.For example in 1871 he made the earthenware polychrome décor which covered the metallic structure of the windmill of the Meunier chocolate factories in Noisiel, designed by architect Jules Saulnier. Other works such as the varnished tiles made for the Beaunes Hospices and the tiles decorated with fleurs-de-lys made for Mont-Saint-Michel took place in this competition.