Above picture is from 1938.

P and I have taken on a project that many have labeled as crazy. This c. 1920's Spanish Revival was a foreclosure that had been vacant for about 2 years. This blog is my attempt to document our renovations of what was once a grand old house. Maybe someday it will be again. Someday.

11 February 2011

Trash or Treasure?

Strobl tile rescued from the trash

Strobl name on back of tile    

P and I have thought since the first time we saw our house that somebody really loved tile and not in a good way.  It turns out that what we thought of as a bad use of random tile turns out to be a bad use of random tile including some Strobl art tile manufactured somewhere between 1910-1920 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  While that probably means nothing to you (or me, until the internet- thanks Al), it turns out that some Strobl tiles are actually valuable.  The one pictured above was where the search began.  While at the dump unloading yet another 3,000 lbs load of trash (we're up to ~25k lbs so far), I saw this tile in the trailer.  I noticed it was in one piece so I picked it up.  Then I noticed it had a name on the back.  When I got home I looked it up and this is what I found...

 This is picture two of the same tiles that I found in the trash.  They sold in 2008 (2 tiles in frame) for $275.00!  Now I know that doesn't mean they are worth that now, but I have ALOT of them.  I took down at least 10 just like these today from the master bathroom. 

Of course with this new information, our demo methods have changed dramatically.  Unfortunately, we've lost some of the tiles in the demo before we knew what we had, but we are being much more careful from this point on.  With that being said, we are still not able to save all tiles because of the way they are attached.  I've worked the last two days with a diamond blade on a side-wheel grinder and have managed to save many more tiles than with our previous sledge hammer method. It is dusty, loud, and labor intensive work to save these tiles, but it is worth it whether or not they have a high dollar value.  I'm enjoying saving these handcrafted pieces of art.
Me with the grinder in a dust cloud (master bath)

So I know I said that the bad use of random tile was prolific and it was, but now I have a greater appreciation for the actual tiles.  Not saying that now I think they look good in their present configuration, just that I have a greater appreciation for what they are as individual pieces. Our plans now are to frame some of the tiles as artwork and maybe use some of the broken pieces to make a tile mosaic in the fountain.  And of course, if there is a market, sell some to finance this project.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Andy, Mel just turned us on to this. It's so much better than doing it ourselves!! Can't wait to read more. Hi to Paula. (I feel the same way about reading Let's Eat!) Love, Ginger