Embellishing the floors of the illustrious Palace of Versailles, and conceived for it circa 1684, the Versailles parquet floor ("Parquet de Versailles") is one of the first parquet flooring that we know of. These panels revolutionize the floor styles, bringing them an elegance beyond comparison to the former pavings, and providing moreover a better comfort. It is also called "parquet à la Française" for the success it has in aristocratic homes, from the Grand Trianon to the Hôtel de Toulouse, hosting today the National French Bank. It is thus a flagship element of the Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI styles.
Its interlaced diagonals gives it distinguishing dynamical feature, but it is most importantly by its structure that an expert recognizes it : it always counts 42 mortices, 42 tenons and 42 dowels, hand-assembled with no glue. The squares can measure from about 3 to 4 feet, and their thickness varies from ¾ to 2 inches.
Of timeless refinement, the parquet de Versailles remains a major decorative reference. The high quality of the woods used in 18th century enables some period parquetry to be used still and to be commercialized, for the connoisseurs' pleasure. The model has however never stopped being produced, and it is still broadly exported. Its simple geometry perfectly adapts to modern indoors, bringing them the Grand Style's charm.
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