Monday, December 15, 2008

Antique Painted Floor with Dog | My favorite . . .

There is a long tradition of putting paint on floors and it's still fashionable. This is the best example of a painted floor surviving in Britain.

It's located in the Tyroconnel Room at Belton House in Lincolnshire. Its heraldic design and its use of only three primary colours is unusual by any standards, although the execution would still have been cheaper than marquetry, the other alternative for such decoration.

Incorporating the symbolic Belton greyhounds and the arms of the Brownlow family (former owners of the house) the floor is the subject of continuing controversy about the date of its paintwork. Some claim it as original to the 17th century; others believe the nature of its design places it in the 18th century. The present owners, The National Trust, do not believe it could have stayed intact for so long if it were the former. Since there is some evidence to support both of the claims, the longevity of the floor remains an enigma.

Here is a photograph of the entire floor.

The practice of painted floors was by no means limited to the United Kingdom. In early 19th century American colonial homes, they were as popular as painted walls and woodwork with many original examples remaining.

I only love the dog part of the design. Maybe one day I will duplicate it in my tiny hall that already has a painted floor in a solid color. I found this article in a very old Farrow & Ball Magazine and I ripped out this page so I don't know the exact date. I think it is probably around 8 to 10 years old in case you want to find a copy. This is an English paint company that sells paint with authentic colours from the National Trust and Archives. Did you notice that I used two different spellings for color? Color for America and colour for Britain.

I have wanted to post about this wonderful floor for quite a while but the top photo had printing on top of the image and it took me a while to clone it out with my photo editing software.

Please see one of my earlier posts on painted floors.

I hope you have enjoyed this article are now inspired to do something creative in your own home.

Belton House was completed in 1688 and has been used as the BBC's film location for Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Tom Jones. See National Trust information here. Delightful slide show here. This is a real destination for your next trip to England. Will you please take me with you?

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Sabina said...

I love painted floors!! I enjoyed the links too. Thanks Rosemary.


Gal Friday said...

As soon as I saw the first picture, I knew right away it was a greyhound(I think in old English, Grey-Grei meant "fine" and greyhounds were kept mostly by noblemen.)I have had greyhounds on the brain today--my dog and I ran into one on our walk this morning and my daughter sent me link to a video with greyhounds...and then I come and visit you here today--another greyhund!
I have always wanted to try painting a floorcloth, but don't know if I would be daring enoiugh to paint directly on the floor itself.
I'll have to take the "tour" of Belton House now, via your links. :-)

Millie said...

Wow what a fabulous example of this art! Thanks Rosemary.
Millie ^_^