Saturday, 18 January 2014

Flamboyant Flamingos: Boulenger Ceramics

I went for a routine blood test the other day. In France your doctor writes you a prescription for the required tests and then you choose the medical clinic where the tests will be done. For convenience I chose a clinic that is between our house and our son's school. The building from the outside seems like any other Parisian building, built in 1910, it is unremarkable. Once you step inside, however, things look a little different.

It turns out this apartment building used to be the location of some public baths, 'les bains Damrément', hence the elaborate tile work. As you go down the very long corridor the tile work changes.

At the bottom of the flamingo scene I spotted these tiles.

Boulenger, a company who specialised in ceramics, was founded in 1804 in Choisy-le-Roi by three brothers Valentin, Melchior et Nicolas Paillart. In 1906 they collaborated with another ceramic manufacturer, Faïencerie de Gien, and together produced the classic white rectangular Metro tiles that are so ubiquitous these days. 

I had arrived early for my appointment so took a little time to look closely at the tile-work. The details are exquisite. 

More photos of the tile work can be found on my Flickr account here

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