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Style Other / Ref.15156

Well with an edge with a wolf’s head

Width: 59''   150cm
Height: 107'' ⅛  272cm
Depth: 65'' ¾  167cm

15th or 16th century.

Good condition.

This well with a wolf’s head can be dated to the 15th or 16th century.

It has a hexagonal base in two parts: the lower part was probably made from a solid, moisture-resistant stone, while the upper part was made from a softer stone suitable for carving. The latter is surrounded by a rope carved into the stone and punctuated by two illegible coats of arms. It also has a gargoyle in the shape of a wolf’s head, completing the water extraction system.

This device is explained in the article on wells in Eugène Viollet-le-Duc's Dictionnaire raisonné de l’architecture française du xie au xvie siècle: the gargoyle acted as an intermediary between the bucket used to draw water, attached to the well’s rope, and the transportable container designed to collect it. In this way, the gargoyle acted as a sort of funnel.

The Dictionnaire raisonné publishes an engraving of a thirteenth-century well showing a model that conforms to the system described and is very similar to our own: it features a gargoyle and a coat of arms.

This model was used continuously until the 16th century, as can be seen from the edge of the well in the courtyard of the Hôtel de Cluny in Paris. This well comes from the manor house of François Sauvage, Charles VIII’s silver controller. Dating from the late 15th or early 16th century, it features a gargoyle in the shape of a “wild man” (“homme sauvage” in French), a reference to the name of its first owner. Like the well with the wolf’s head, the one at Cluny has a lower part made of moisture-resistant stone and an upper part made of carved soft stone.

Price: on request

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