Years and years ago when I was new at collecting antique tiles I’d spend my days off driving around the area scouring the antique stores looking for prizes. One trip I found myself in a store at the Jersey Shore. It was filled with porcelain and English mahogany (not really my thing) but then I spotted a little Grueby tile. Then another. Then I saw they a few of them sprinkled throughout the store. I was all excited, picking them up, admiring them, talking to the owner. After a while he said “I usually don’t do this, but I think you’ll appreciate seeing what’s in the basement.”
He leads me down the stairs and my jaw drops. Shelf after shelf with crates of tiles! All Grueby! He tells me the story of how he found them all in warehouse going to be demolished. It was the storage facility for the Pardee Company. Pardee bought all of Grueby’s stock and glazes when the company went bankrupt in 1919. Eventually Pardee went out of business as well and all these tiles were sitting there untouched for over 50 years. Most of the tiles were fired but still not glazed. He gave me strict instructions only a certain section was for sale. But I could look at the others. Then he left me alone. I probably spent about 2 hours down there, picking out my perfect little $45 geometric tiles and was covered in grime. But I saw the tile at the left. I WANTED that tile. I couldn’t have that tile. He wouldn’t sell it to me. No matter how I pleaded he wouldn’t do it. Fast forward 15 years. That tile went through a few other hands before it got here, but now it’s mine! Perseverance pays off!
You can find this tile for sale at BungalowBILL