A small 6.5m2 French damier with Maubeuge borders
A small antique French damier of chocolate brown and turquoise tiles, manufactured at the turn of the last century by the heritage and internationally known tile producer, Boch Freres de Maubeuge, the floor is complimented by a lozenge themed same size border tile in blue, charcoal and mid grey, manufactured by Produits Ceramiques de Maubeuge. All four border corner tiles are also present and we show in the gallery a scan from the original Maubeuge catalogue, presenting the border tile.
One for the purist, this floor offers up a simple French chessboard layout and being a tile fired to over 1,000F degrees they can be laid inside or outside of the home. The photographed 0.5 m2 randomly selected section of the floor shows a tile which has restored well. The ceramic is excellent, the slip consistent and while some tiles display edge nibbles and small chips expected of a floor of this age all are groutable and add to the charming patina of the floor.
These quality ceramics are 15cm square, 16mm thick and the surface area is 6.5m2 / 70 sq ft;
The heritage of the tiles is interesting; they have been reclaimed from a Relais du Halage on the Canal de la Deule, close to Carvin, Nord Pas de Calais. The Canal is close to both the large French city of Lille and the Belgian border. A Relais du Halage (Halage being the French word for Haulage) was a building used to store equipment to facilitate the hauling of the Peniches along sections of the canal where, owing to a multiple of factors like canal narrowing, obstructing buildings or bridges, absence of wind etc. it was impossible for the Peniche to navigate under its sails. As a consequence they had to be pulled by pairs of horses operating from the side of the canal to a point where the Peniche could once again raise its sails. As trains or traction engines became more widely used they would replace the role of the horses. For your pleasure we have included some photographs from the late 19th century through into the early 20th century showing both methods.
Chocolate coloured field - 112 tiles - 2.5 m2 / 27 sq. ft.
Turquoise field - 112 tiles - 2.5 m2 / 27 sq. ft.
Maubeuge borders - 60 tiles* plus 4 border corners - 1.35m2 / 14.5 sq. ft.
* linear length of 9 linear metres / 29.5 sq. ft.
plus a substantial number of free reject tiles that can be used for cuts and which are mainly turqouise.