A stunningly detailed early 20th century French ceramic floor (DB9)

A stunningly detailed early 20th century French ceramic floor
 
An impressively detailed French ceramic floor dating from the early part of the twentieth century, reclaimed from the small town of Nieppe, northern France.
 
The floor was manufactured by Usine de Montplaisir, Maubeuge and we have included below a scan from the period Montplaisir catalogue in our possession showing the floor. 
 
The total surface area is 14.5m2 / 156 sq ft with the floor comprising of a main field tile, 14.5cm square, and a same size border tile. There are a large number of the border tiles with the floor, allowing for an impressive double, back to back framing and all four internal and external border corner tiles are present.
 
The design has a strong floral and vegetal theme, popular during the period; in this instance of summer flowers and what appear to be swirling sheaves of wheat all in stunning detail and creating an almost hand painted feel to each tile. The fond of the tile is a warm sky blue but the palette also includes wheat, beige, leaf green, white and charcoal.
  
The floor has cleaned well, revealing a rich patina, with some tiles displaying edge nibbles and small groutable chips; the colours are rich and vibrant and the ceramic is excellent quality.
A small proportion of tiles also have surface capillary cracks as photographs of a random section of the floor below shows* 
 
 
*capillary cracks are c. 15mm surface cracks that often formed during the tiles production when the tile was removed from the kiln after firing to cool. When cooling the tile was dissipating its heat but at the same time drawing in humidity in the air on what may have been a damp day. The surface crack was the consequence. It is superficial, adds to the charm and uniqueness of the floors patina and does not effect their solidity. 
 

Tile quantities, give or take one or two:-

 
Field tile –  390 tiles 8.2 m2 / 88.4 sq ft.
 
Large borders –  - 290 tiles 6.1m2 / 65.7 sq. ft or 42 linear metres /  138 linear feet*
 
  Large border corners –  4 internal corners and  4 external corner
 
plus free offcuts
 
* Halve the lengths for a back to back border lay as shown in the photographs
 

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