An 8.75m2 antique Belgian octagon ceramic 1879-1912
An antique Belgian ceramic floor consisting of an octagon ceramic tile with cabochons and twin borders, being a full size and half size border.
The large border and field tiles are 16cm and the half border 16cm x 8cm. Thickness is c.14mm/15mm.
The floors surface area is c.8.75m2 / 94 sq ft.
In a cool palette of greys, charcoal, mid blue, mustard and white the tiles were manufactured by Carrelages Céramiques de Chimay, Maufroid Freres & Soeur, Rue Poncet, Bourlers, Henegouwen, Belgique, who later became: S.A. La Céramique de Bourlers. Maufroid Freres et Soeur and traded as such between 1879 and 1912. The reverse of the tiles bears the Maufroid rings and centralised 'M'.
The tiles have cleaned superbly revealing a good ceramic. Years of old wax has been steamed off and old mortar removed, so the tiles arrive ready to relay.
The photographs are of a randomly selected c.1m2 section of the floor and reveal some tiles with occasional edge nibbles or small chips, all groutable and adding to the charm and patina of these handmade tiles. A few also bear a surface capillary crack, formed during cooling when the tile left the kiln after firing over a 100 years ago.
Being a highly fired tile they can be laid both inside and outside of the home, for example on a patio, as an entrance path, in a summer house or conservatory...
Tile quantities, give or take one or two:-
FIELD - 210 tiles - 5.4m2 / 58 sq ft. (plus c.180+ cabochons and 20+ half cabochons)
LARGE BORDERS - 90 plus 4 corners - 2.4m2 / 25.8 sq ft. or 15 linear metres / 49.3 linear ft.
HALF BORDERS - 70 tiles plus 4 corners - 0.92m2 / 9.9 sq ft or 11.5m2 / 37.7 linear ft.
Antique tiles were most commonly made in single or two tile moulds. Before current computer automation methods their moulds were made my hand and the colour slips mixed by eye. Kiln temperatures could also be variable, as could the firing time. The result is that often tiles display subtle size and thickness variations and there can be tonal variations in colours, owing to the slip mixing and/or firing time. All of this makes these handmade tiles unique and adds to their charm. Some floors display their subtle variations in size and tones, some not, but when photographing we always take a random section of the floor so that it is representative of the whole. A tiler should always dry lay a section of the tiles to familiarise himself with them before starting to fix lay.