The History of Wells Tile & Antiques
Wells Antiques was established in 1992. From the beginning, the intent was to join the community of antique dealers that populated Echo Park for over a quarter century. Over time the business evolved into a virtual museum of art pottery & tiles, garden ware and furniture, displaying the largest collection of antique tiles in the country. Scott Wells, the owner of Wells Antiques began taking a specific interest in art pottery when he came across his first California tile table. His interest increased when he stumbled on a large collection of antique tiles. At that time there was little information available so Wells sought out the few tile experts around and began what would become an endless quest for knowledge. In doing so Wells became aware of how few dealers there were in the country that specialized in this area of the antique business. Without a doubt there was a niche just waiting to be filled. The public awareness and appreciation of these treasures has not only blossomed but has exploded over the past 10 years. In turn Wells has developed a personal love and appreciation for the aesthetic beauty and worth of the tiles themselves. With knowledge came success and the business, as well as Wells’ personal reputation as an expert in the field, has grown tremendously. He is a dedicated conservationist and stays busy educating the public about the worth, beauty, and historical value of antique tiles. Throughout the years he has been an advisor and contributor to many national and local institutions, including California Heritage Museum and The Tile Heritage Foundation. Wells has worked with authors, such as Norman Karlson, sharing his knowledge and general expertise on his favorite subject.
Wells Antiques is unique due to the degree of specialization that is represented in the retail establishment. The general feel is a dusty antique store but as you wander a little further, that first impression fades and suddenly you feel as though you’ve stumbled onto a den of antiquities. Early California tiles are largely represented due to the tile renaissance that occurred in the 1920’s in Southern California. The architecture and the climate of the area were responsible for the beautiful tile colors and glazes that were developed during that time. Most of the tile motifs and designs from that period were derived from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern origins.
One of the goals of Wells Antiques is to preserve vintage tiles from destruction due to the lack of understanding of the historical worth and beauty of these tiles. Through trial and error he has developed the best techniques for removal and salvage of these community treasures and has been commissioned to remove tiles from numerous historical sites. Wells is the leading expert of this service, which is now available to the public. Wells also provides installation design services, tile restoration, appraisals, tile and pottery identification and referrals for tile reproduction. Wells is the only place to go where you can design your own antique fireplace, fountain, back-splash or scenic installation. “We value our customers and strive to provide the best possible service to ensure a pleasurable shopping experience.” The store has a museum-like quality with a constant influx of new merchandise that brings customers back time and time again.
Today, Wells Antiques has the largest stock of antique tiles in the country. Our clients include many famous names in the Los Angeles area and we attract people from all over the world.