c.7.5m2 Boulenger tiles, late 19th century
A traditional French ceramic damier of sang de boeuf and pale ochre coloured tiles reclaimed from the kitchen of a house in Heudicourt, Haute-Normandie and now fully restored and ready to relay. We include a photo of the floor pre-lifting.
The tiles are 14cm square and owing to being handmade in small batches there is variable thicknesses but most commonly they are 15mm thick.
Totalling c.7.5 m2, there are c.5m2 of the sang de boeuf colour and c.2.5m2 of the ochre tiles. Additionally, a further c.2m2 of free rejects/triangle tiles are included for use as offcuts.
The same Boulenger tiles were laid in the house of Claude Monet in Giverny and we have included some photographs of it in the gallery.
Produced, and occasionally side stamped, by the internationally accredited ceramic house of Boulenger Auneuil, near Beauvais, the tiles would likely have been manufactured between the years of 1885 and 1890. Although Boulenger are now no longer trading, they were produced in a factory which is still standing and now used on a very small scale to make stoneware pots fired in an old climbing kiln. The factory is still covered in original tiles and the company donated a Museum to the village, which is also covered completely in encaustic tiles. Highly fired and handmade in pairs, they were separated by strips of clay which were then broken apart after firing to release the joined tiles. Three colours are typically dominant in Boulenger tiles both by creative preference and owing to the types of clays used; a pale ochre, 'bulls blood' (‘sang de boeuf’ in French) and black.
Having had the old mortar removed from their reverses and sides and years of dirt and wax removed from their faces we have photographed a random sample of the cleaned tiles which display a beautiful and rich antique patina. The laid floor can either be sealed or wax polished, to lift the tiles to a satin or gloss finish from its current cleaned matt state, all depending on your personal preference.