Decorative sampling

Brayton Laguna
This scenic tile is representative of the common Mexican themes that run through many tile works. Because they are very rare, Brayton tiles are highly collectible and expensive. In the late ’30s, the Laguna Beach pottery shop was licensed to reproduce Disney characters.
(Myung J. Chun / LAT)

California’s vintage tile is ingrained in the area’s sense of style and décor. The region’s love affair with decorative tile began with the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, where buildings were lavishly embellished with the sort of tile used in Spain since the 8th century. California tileries soon copied the look, using opaque glazes in rich, primary colors. What remains today is an examination of Southern California’s history and culture through a variety of structures — from fireplace mantels to fountains. The work captures the exuberance of California in the early half of the 20th century, particularly the mid-1920s, when tilemaking reached its peak. Competition among companies was fierce and they often poached the best talent from one another, creating overlaps in style and designs. Here is a sampling:


Source: “California Tile: The Golden Era”