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Olympic Tile, First-Class Swimming Pool / Bathroom

Item Number: 16333 Sold

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Many of you have heard the rumor that Olympic’s wheelhouse is being used as a potting shed somewhere in the U.K. or that a collector has the clock from Honor and Glory and jealously guards his treasure.  Perhaps you have also heard the story that Olympic’s swimming pool tiles were in a garden in England.  I can’t shed any further light on the wheelhouse or clock stories, but I can put at least one of these rumors to rest.

I first found these about 12 years ago and sold several hundred.  Manufactured by Villeroy & Boch (founded in 1748 and still making bathroom fittings to this day), these tiles belonged to a lady whose grandfather worked at Jarrow and brought these home during Olympic’s demolition.  They had been in the family’s possession ever since.  Measuring about 7″ across and almost 1″ thick, each tiles weighs almost 2½ pounds!

Identical tiles were recovered from the wreck of Titanic in 1987, and examples are currently on display in the traveling exhibits.

Although this pattern of tile was produced from 1886 to the early 1920’s, according to Villeroy & Boch, the back stamp on each tile indicates that the tiles I found in Jarrow date to no later than about 1910.  The “model number” for the pattern is 562.