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130 E Swamp Rd
Doylestown, PA 18901
215.348.6098


Moravian Pottery & Tile Works

The Spanish Lion

Spanish Lion

Our new 2019 Special Edition First Reissue tile will be made available the day after Thanksgiving, 2018.  This beautiful large 8" x 6" tile is glazed and hand-painted cream, red and black. Hand crafted, the tile is made from local Bucks County clay that we dig and mix ourselves.  Due to it's being made by hand every tile is different.  Available for 45.95 plus tax and shipping if applicable.  Members of the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works receive a 10% discount on this tile.

This tile comes boxed with a card describing it.  Call us to order yours at 215.348.6090.


One hundred and five years ago Henry C. Mercer  introduced the Spanish Lion in his 1913 Catalogue.  This beautiful tile was derived from an illustration in Robert Forrer’s book “Geschichte der europäischen Fleisen-Keramik: vom Mittelalter bis zum Jahr 1900”. The 1913 catalogue lists the tile for 50 cents.

Forrer’s illustration was based on a medieval tile referred to as  a ‘socarrat’ tile.  Socarrat tiles were large flat tiles covered with a solution (slip) of white clay and painted  black and red .  The term socarrat, meaning burnt, is aptly used to also describe the crispy tasty golden rice stuck to the bottom of a paella pan.  These tiles were typically used to embellish ceilings, beams, and eaves.  They are still made today in Valencia, Spain.

Although Mercer copied the design, he used a different technique to produce his version of the tile. He carved away the white background of the design and made a mold for it.  Using the mold he produced the tile.  It was then coated in a slip  of white clay.  When dried to a leather hard state a sponge was used to wipe off the  white slip from the raised portion of the  tile revealing the red clay beneath.  After a bisque firing the lion and the border were painted black, glazed with a clear glaze and fired once again.

In lieu of a newly designed Special Edition tile, this year’s tile is a re-release of Henry Mercer’s adaptation of this design that he created in the early 1900’s. Until the end of 2019 the funds obtained from the sale of this specific tile will go towards the restoration of the Tile Works. 

First Reissue