c.13.75m2 - Exquisite Boch Freres antique ceramic floor c.1890-1900
A quite stunning Boch Freres Maubeuge ceramic encaustic floor dating from the latter part of the 19th century and totalling 13.7m2+ / 147 sq ft of surface area. The floor comes with its original full size and half size Boch Freres border tiles.
In the gallery we show a scan of the tiles, presented in the original Boch Freres, Maubeuge period catalogue.
The palette is subtle and the detail of the main field tile design is beautiful, embracing a vegetal theme popular at the beginning of the art nouveau period linked as the floor tessellates by an entwined cross. These are large and heavy tiles of a fine ceramic, 17.5cm sq, almost 2cm thick and weighing over 1.3 kilos each. They were handmade and each one has its own almost hand-painted individuality and character and there are tonal variations as can be evidenced in the high resolution photos in the gallery. The main field tile is framed by a same size Moorish influenced border tile, popular in the period as we have consistently found it framing other period Boch Freres floors, and a half size geometric themed border primarily in mustard and red. All four large border corners and eight half size border corners have been reclaimed.
There are sufficient half size borders to lay them in duplicate with the same size border. We have shown them both as a single lay in the photographs,
This floor is crying out to be the hero in any room, whether you choose to fill the whole area, like a bathroom or kitchen or choose to lay it as a grand feature in a larger room surrounded by a complimentary tile or antique parquet. We think it could also work impressively as a feature in a wet room where it would grace any wall. Optionally, given its floral theme it could be laid in a conservatory or patio where sub zero temperatures in winter would present no issues to the structure of the tiles. From a heating perspective being ceramic encaustic and highly fired the floor would also work very efficiently with underfloor heating systems.
The floor arrives cleaned and ready to relay.
Tile quantities, give or take one or two:-
FIELD - 317 tiles - 9.7m2 / 104 sq ft.
LARGE BORDER - 65 tiles plus 4 corner tiles - 2.11m2 / 22.75 sq ft. or 11.35 linear metres / 38.5 linear feet.
HALF SIZE BORDER - 123 plus 8 corner tiles - 1.94m2 / 20.9 sq ft. or 21.6 linear metres / 70.8 linear feet.
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.