RARE – Late 19th C. Boulenger antique ceramic floor c.9m2 to 23m2

A rare find, a handmade late 19th century Societe Anonyme de Produits Ceramiques BOULENGER, Auneuil ceramic floor. The floor, consisting of 14cm square and 14cm x 7cm half border tiles, both 15mm thick, were produced in the latter part of the 19th century. 

The design and palette is immediately recognisable as Boulenger as they worked in three principal colours only namely black, ochre and sang de boeuf, and we have included in the photo gallery scans from their original period catalogue on which both the main field tile and half size border can be seen. The design, an interlocking symmetrical motif opening up over an eight-tile tessellation, is beautifully framed by an ecclesiastical themed border. Individually handmade in small batches the tiles were often signed on their side by the worker and we have included a couple of examples in the photo gallery. Boulenger tiles were highly fired and loaded into the kiln standing and back to back with two strips of metal paper separating the two tiles. Once fired and cooled the metal strips were then pulled and the tiles separated themselves. The reverse of the tiles show where the metal strips lay.

This 130+ year old floor has cleaned well and now reveals a rich antique patina. There are some tiles bearing chips, all groutable, and there is subtle differences in the tones of the ochre on a small number, all adding to its charm and uniqueness. The photographs in the gallery are of a randomly selected section of the floor and are an accurate representation of the whole. 

Once laid, the floor should be sealed. Sealant is a low cost, clear, easy to apply product which does not change the aspect of the tile but does protect against staining and makes cleaning (a regular mopping or with a tile steam cleaner) easier. Each sealant coat will last a minimum of five years.

While production has long since ceased from the golden epoch that was French tile ceramics at their best, we have also included in the photo gallery a photograph of the Boulenger family house and the Boulenger tile museum in Auneuil. The passion for their work was clearly indisputable!

We have a Boulenger chessboard floor of plain ochre and sang de boeuf 14cm square tiles available which dates from the same period, more details of which can be found here 

We can therefore provide three purchase options and have photographed the floor in the three different scenarios so they can be seen.

Option 1

The motif floor with its half size borders
415 Field tiles – 8.3m2
67 Half size borders – 0.67 m2 or 9.4 linear metres / 30.8 linear feet

Plus c.50 field tile and 4 border tile rejects, having larger chips or defaults. Supplied free to use as cuts and mitre corners for the borders.

Total surface – 8.97 m2 / 96.6 sq ft

Option 2

Option 1 plus c.6.5m2 of plain ochre Boulenger field tiles with the possibility to frame Option 1 or produce a chessboard style option as shown in the tile simulation provided in the gallery. The tiles are slightly thinner at c.13mm thick.

Total surface 15.5m2 / 166 sq ft

Option 3

Option 1 and 2 plus 7.5m2 of plain sang de bœuf tiles which can be used again to create a frame, a chessboard, to integrate within the floor. The tiles are slightly thinner at c.13mm thick.

Total surface 23m2 / 247 sq ft

We are happy to advise on a potential fit of the floor in your chosen area, without obligation, from a simple sketch with key dimensions.