An antique Belgian ceramic with a beautiful antique patina c.7.5m2/81 sq ft.
A small antique Belgian ceramic consisting of a 16.5cm sq field and border tile and a half size border, laid in duplicate.
Total surface area is c.7.5m2 / 80.7 sq ft.
The floor was handmade in small batches 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'. We include a scan in the gallery from the Maufroid Freres et Soeur catalogue showing the tiles.
In excellent condition these handmade ceramics display deep colours with some tonal variations, and an appealing patina of surface crackling and occasional capillary cracks. Both of these characteristics having formed when the tiles left the kiln and were cooling and neither affects the solidity or robustness of the tiles, which are now between 107 years and 126 years old.
The border tiles were both laid vertically, either side in the hallway they were reclaimed from, so there are no small border corner tiles, although these can easily be angle or mitre cut by the tiler.
Tile quantities, give or take one or two:-
FIELD tiles - 205 tiles 5.25m2 / 56.5 sq ft.
LARGE BORDERS - 40 tiles - 1.1m2 / 11.7 sq ft or 6.6 linear metres / 21.7 linear ft.
SMALL BORDERS - 80 tiles - 1.1m2 / 11.7 sq ft or 13.2 linear metres / 43.4 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.