RARE - Stunning 14m2 Boch Freres Art Nouveau floor - early 20th century (CE217)
SOLD SOLD SOLD A rare find is this stunning art nouveau floor dating from the beginning of the twentieth century and recovered from the dining room of a house in a small village of 215 inhabitants called Lez-Fontaine, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais department of northern France. The reverse of these large and superb ceramics, 17.5cm sq./ 6.9 inch sq., are stamped Boch Freres, Maubeuge and the tiles are 1.75cm thick and weigh close to a kilo each.
The floor has all the DNA of art nouveau design, most apparent in the same size border tiles. The primary section of the floor is made up of two complementary field tiles; a styalized floral motif and a plain cross themed tile which serves to frame the motif. The floor is laid in the traditional french damier or chessboard method. The main section is completed by its framing with a triple border series; the same size taking one flower from the main field tile design and the half size a simple bar and star laid in duplicate. Having been cleaned of old mortar and years of wax the colours in this cool palette are crisp. Owing to their hand-made production process in small batches there is some tonal variation in colour and this is most apparent in the green of the cross themed field tile. We have laid two extreme examples of this next to each other in a photograph below.
The floor has a lovely patina and the ceramic of the tiles is in good condition; a small number of tiles display small chips and edge nibbles, all of which are groutable and some tiles, most particularly on the large borders, display surface capillary cracks which were formed after the tile left the kiln and was exposed to a humid environment. The high resolution photographs below, taken outside in overcast and showery conditions, are of a random c.2m2 section of the floor. Once laid the floor will simply require a regular wash to retain its beauty and being a highly fired tile is can be laid inside or outside of the home as well as work most effectively with underfloor heating systems.
Tile quantities, give or take one or two:-
Motif field tile - 160 - 4.9m2 / 53 sq. ft
Cross field tile - 160 - 4.9m2 / 53 sq.ft
Large border tiles - 60 plus 4 corners* - 1.96m2 / 21 sq. ft or 11.2 linear metres / 36.75 linear ft.
Small border tiles - 150 plus 8 corners - 2.3m2 / 25 sq. ft or 26.6 linear metres / 87 linear ft.
* one large border corner has a small chip
Plus c.30 free reject tiles for offcuts.