Full image caption
Group of two ceramic stove tiles. The top image shows an example of a rectangular tile decorated in blue and yellow with a leafy border and the figures of two men in Tudor costume. The image at the bottom is an example of a stove tile in the shape of a flower with brown and yellow petals. These tile fragments were once part of a state of the art smokeless ceramic stove, which was manufactured in West Germany. It was installed at the Abbey of St Mary Graces to warm the private apartments of the abbot and was probably in use in the early 1500s. A luxury item, which only the aristocracy or clergy would have been aware of due to their cross-Channel connections, this warming invention would have been specially commissioned and required an expert craftsman to accompany the tiles to England and build the stove on site.
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