Tile Addict turns today to a very rare and very beautiful natural stone about which, I must confess, I knew nothing until I received a short press release from De Ferranti. This company, a true and established specialist in rare and unusual surface finishes, now offers this rare bitumous limestone that has a glorious deep rich chocolate brown colour, subtle tonal variation, and visible fossil remains.
This quite extraordinary material is quarried from an area where hard white limestone has, over the course of thousands of years, become impregnated with bitumen from underground oil beds. The specific quarry was closed in the 1930s and has only just re-opened.
De Ferranti’s Bitter Chocolate Limestone suits both traditional and contemporary interiors. It is typically supplied in tile formats: 400 by 400 by 20mm; honed and pre-sealed. Although rare in large sizes, De Ferranti can also source slab and block to carve basins and form architectural details, such as staircases, friezes and cornicing. Bespoke sizes and finishes are available to order
For indoor use only, this rare limestone can be used on floors and as a wall cladding. Once laid, it is given a final coat of oil and then sealed, resulting in a rich, leather-like, patina.
For Tile Addicts unfamiliar with De Ferranti, this Chelsea-based company specialises in luxurious surfaces for floors and walls, as well as architectural elements, De Ferranti has been sourcing rare and unusual products for architects, designers and a range of international private clients for over a decade. The aim is to provide unique solutions for residential, commercial and yacht projects.
Many of the materials replicate the style of important historical buildings in Rome and Athens, often reviving decorative techniques, like Scagliola, Opus Sectile or Cocciopesto, that are lost to the majority of today’s artisans. Other surfaces, such as Jali work, are collected further a field, including North Africa, the Middle East, India and South East Asia. I recommend taking a tour of the De Ferranti website to find out more.
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, January 2018