Rare antique French Perrusson ceramic floor - 1900 (CE240)
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One of two antique French ceramic floors recently reclaimed from a period property in Louhans, close to Dijon, Burgundy, France. Totalling 6m2 / 65 sq. ft the floor was produced in Ecuisses, Saone-et-Loire by Perrusson et Fils DesFontaines in 1900 and consists of a 17mm thick, 17.3cm square main field tile, weighing almost 1.5kgs each in a stylized floral motif opening up over a four tile tessellation in a palette of caramel, vanilla and teal on a sky blue slip. We have recovered 25 of the same size 3D cubed borders, insufficient to frame the floor but offering highlight options in say door jambs, as a centralised internal frame or as features around key fixtures in the room.
A professional cleaning, removing old wax and mortar, reveals a beautiful tile handmade in small batches as evidenced in surface feel and subtle variances in both detail of design and tones of colour. As can be seen in the high resolution photographs of a random 1m2 section of the floor it has a rich time aged antique patina, the charm given to it by the passing of some 115 years with some tiles displaying edge nibbles and small groutable chips. This is a highly fired tile and as a result can be laid inside or outside of the home and they will perform very efficiently with underfloor heating systems.
Tile quantities, give or take one or two:-
Field tiles* - 180 tiles – 5.4m2 / 58 sq ft
Large borders - 25 tiles – 0.75m2 / 8 sq ft. or 4.3 linear metres / 14.1 linear ft.
* Plus 80 free reject tiles to use as halves or offcuts.
(Around 40 tiles, 1.2m2, of the 80 free reject tiles we personally would incorporate in the floor as whole tiles, they just have a richer patina ie larger edge nibbles and chips but all groutable. They can all certainly be used as halves and cuts)
To see the other Perrusson floor reclaimed for the same house click here
Ceramiques Perrusson, Ecluses - A brief history
Jean-Marie Perrusson was not only known for ceramic tile production but also for the production of bricks and roof tiles. Many of the lozenge themed terracotta mechanical tiles in Burgundy bear the Perrusson hallmark. He built his first brick making factory in 1860 and started mechanical tile production in 1863, to which he added a workshop for manufacturing ceramic tiles in 1875. Further expansion of the ceramic tile production in the Saône-et-Loire was initiated (in Saint-Julien-sur-Dheune in 1866, St. Pantaleon 1870), and even beyond the department (in Sancoins Cher in 1870 and Fontafié in Charente in 1878).
The company was renamed ‘Perrusson Fils et Desfontaines’ in 1890 and the factory also manufactured architectural ceramics and statues. In April 1960 the factory finally closed its doors. The vast majority of the original buildings constructed in 1890/1900 are destroyed with the offices, changing rooms of the factory, the concierge and the electrical workshop the only significant remnants of the site that can still be seen. We have included some photographs below of the factory both recently and from the period of its peak.
The Perrusson factory employed 40 workers in 1860, 80 by 1874, 130 in 1890, 300 at its peak in 1900, 280 in 1930 and 130 during 1945 to 1950.