Muresque Tiles, Inc.
Oakland, California

Muresque Tiles was formed in 1925 by William Flynn Muir; the company was named after himself and his wife Vesta. The factory was located at 1001 22nd Avenue in Oakland. Bill Muir was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, where he apprenticed as a tile setter. When he arrived in Fresno in 1913, he worked for Fresno Marble & Tile, a tile contracting company. He married in 1918 and had two children before moving to Oakland in 1925 to make tiles.

Muresque tiles, among the finest produced in California, were inspired by both Batchelder and Claycraft tiles. Muir had accumulated a considerable collection of both. Among the many tiles, trim shapes and accessories offered by Muresque, the company produced over 130 decorative tiles, most molded in high relief with a raised border and used as wall or mantel inserts. The subject matter was always romantic, depicting the majestic California landscape, scenes from nature, medieval imagery and most notably ships at sea.

Although the company was short-lived, a victim of the Great Depression, two illustrated product catalogs were produced, reproductions of which are offered for sale by the Tile Heritage Foundation. Click on “Historic Tile Catalogs” to have a look.

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