NotesThis terracotta roof tile was collected from the Wunderlich Limited factory in Redfern in 1980. This particular type of tile is referred to as a Marseille, or French style roof tile.
In 1892 the Wunderlich brothers had purchased a wayward shipment of roofing tiles from France. The shipment established a profitable relationship with the Tile Manufacturers of Marseilles. It was the first of 110 cargoes to arrive by 1914, totalling 75 million tiles. This type of interlocking tile was developed in Marseilles during the 1850s, and was produced by several tileries whose products were sold through the syndicate which dealt with Wunderlich. Only the export tiles were red; European French tiles retained a slate grey.
Sydney's love affair with red Marseilles tiles commenced here, more or less superceding slate or iron roofs. Tiled roofs were a perfect match for the Arts & Crafts 'Federation' domestic style architecture of the time. However they have remained popular right up to the present, regardless of prevailing architectural styles and philosophies.
Most of the tiles collected from the Wunderlich site were branded with one of ten symbols, which could be traced back to manufactures and locations in the Marseilles area.
The brands collected from the Wunderlich site included the following:
(Symbol, Company Name, Location)
Turtle, Tuileries de la Mediterranee, Siege Social Marseille, France
Cock, Saumati Freres, Marseille, France
Spade, Pierre Amedee, St Henry Marseille, France
Maltese Cross, Arnaud Etienne et Cie, Marseille St. Henri, France
Star, Pierre Sacoman, St. Henry Marseille, France
Anchor, Antoine Sacoman, Usine La Plata Marseille St. Henry, France
Lion, Guichard Freres, Seon St. Henri Marseille, France
Bee, Guichard Carvin et Cie, Marseille St. Andre, France
Horse, Les Fils de Jules Bonnet, La Viste Marseille, France
Horned animal + entwined anchor, Gustavo Gavotti, Lungaville Voghera, Italy
Wunderlich was unable to satisfy the demand once the Great War stopped the shipment from France. The Wunderlich Company had foreseen the possibility of the European war and had installed experimental tilery plants in Sydney and Melbourne, at the same time purchasing clay lands in these areas.  By the time the war made importation of Marseilles tiles impossible, Wunderlich Limited was ready to start full scale production of their own branded tiles.
Forty Years of Wunderlich Industry 1887-1927, Wunderlich Ltd, 1927
Trade Brochure, Colour in Wunderlich Products, Wunderlich Ltd, Museum Research Library