very unique and largely intact late 19th century glazed majolica portrait tile set featuring bust-length costumed male and female. each irregular sized figural tile measures 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches. these tiles were often used in ornamental cast iron fireplace mantle keystones and shelf brackets, and in some cases, within a tile surround or even a tiled hearth.the victoran era tiles were modeled by artist isaac broome. the tiles were fabricated by trent. the trent tile co. first began operations in 1882 as the harris manufacturing company. by 1883 the name was changed to trent tile company. in 1883, isaac broome, a designer and modeler, came to trent to work. he was highly qualified, boasting 8 years of experience at the ott and brewer pottery. he left the company in 1886, but trent was able to keep producing new broome designs after he left, because of the amount he designed while he was employed there. after broome left, william wood gallimore, an artist and modeler, took his position. in 1912, the factory had financial troubles, and was bought by thomas h. thropp in 1916. under his ownership, trent produced 8 million square feet of tile each year. when thropp died in 1931, his son, h.w. thropp took over. r.p herrold purchased trent in 1936 with a loan from the government. in 1939, the factory was once again in trouble, and it closed down. in 1940, it was bought by wenczel tile company. tiles from trent were used on fireplaces, mantels, counter fronts, wainscoting, soda fountains, doorways, and as independent art panels. trent tiles were available in 118 colors, and countless designs.