Diaries reader and LA Times historian/writer/blogger Larry Harnisch directed me to an Ebay auction for the item pictured here, which has got to be extremely rare. I was surprised when I won it without much competition, as the signature affirms it's designed by the great Joe Grant, onetime head of Disney Animation's "model department"(what's known now as visual development) and until his death at age 96 a few years ago once again employed as story man and resident genius at Disney's. His influence over nearly seventy years of animation history has been profound.
When Grant left Disney in the late 40s he started his own business which included designing decorative tiles such as this. I'd never seen one before, and think it's a wonderful thing measuring six inches square. Apparently it's the right-hand part of a pair titled "The Gossips", to be installed one guesses on a splashboard in a kitchen, dining/pantry area or some other nook where a tile accent would go. Neat drawing, nice color, lovely loose lines. I'll bet there are collectors out there with more than a few examples of these--at least I hope so.
Just a little something to share. I apologize for the inferior photography provided via iPhone; I tried for a clear closeup of the signature as well and failed. But at least one gets an idea.