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Style Renaissance / Ref.4000

Monumental Stone Fireplace with Philippe Merlan coat of arms

Width: 137'' ¾  350cm
Height: 168'' ½  428cm
Depth: 36'' ¼  92cm
Inner width: 92'' ½  235cm
Inner height: 74'' ¾  190cm

France, Renaissance, dated 1534.
Sculpted stone from Tonnerre (Yonne).

Very good condition.

Sculpted in 1534 for the Castle of Arnay-Le-Duc, Burgundy

“1534” is engraved in a recessed compartment in the center of the base of the fireplace. The Merlan family coat of arms is located on either side of the frieze outlining the mantel cornice: “A red golden lion, holding on its right a silver cross, surmounted by a silver star, and above are situated three black martlets.” The Merlan family’s motto is engraved on the lintel. Origin The fireplace was created in 1534 on behalf of Philippe Merlan (1503-1546), Baron of Montpont, Lord of Jully-lez-Arnay-le-Duc and general of finances in Burgundy and Bresse under King François the 1st. It was located in his castle of Arnay-le-Duc, in the Côte-d’Or, in the region of Burgundy-Franche-Comté. Upon his death in 1546, ownership was transferred to his son, Gabriel Merlan (1528-1562), Baron of Montpont and Lord of Jully-lez-Arnay-le-Duc. Like his father, he was the Controller-General of finances of Burgundy and Bresse. In 1562, the fireplace was passed to the collection of the family of Chabot-Charny. The castle was sold in 1634 by Françoise Bernarde of Montessus, Countess of Charroux and widow of Charles de Chabot, Nobleman of Mirebeau, to Prince Henri II of Bourbon-Condé (1588-1646), King of France for a short time. It stayed in the collection of his son, Louis II de Bourbon-Condé (1621-1686), known as the Great Condé, famous conqueror of Rocroi (1643) until 1675. That year it was given back to the family of Chabot until 1778. During this period, the lands of Arnay passed from the Chabots to the Rohans, then to the Brions through marriages. The piece was sold in 1778 by Marie-Louise-Julie-Constance of Rohan, Countess of Brionne, to the royal house of the Ladies of Saint-Cyr who inhabited the castle until the Revolution. It was used as the town hall until 1792, when it was sold as National property. It passed from hand to hand until eventually it was bought in the mid 1860s by Jean-François-Henri Bouruet (1801-1870), one of the rich owners of the famous “Au Gagne-Petit’’ stores in Paris, who stripped much of the woodwork, sculptures and its eight fireplaces, including our mantel. The fireplace was moved to one of the rooms of the neo-Renaissance castle of Villemenon in Servon, Seine-et-Marne, which Jean-François-Henir Bouruet had recently built. The mantel remained there even after the death of Mr. Bouruet in 1870 and the castle was sold by his heirs. Over the next 150 years, the castle of Villemenon became the property of Mr. Jeanson (from 1870 to 1875), Mr. Boutet (from 1875 to 1911), Mr. Droui de M.Méhu, banker in Paris, and finally Hélène Martini (1924-2017), famous director of theaters, cabarets and theaters, often referred to as the “Queen of the Parisian night.”

Masterpiece of the first French Renaissance, this imposing stone fireplace in Tonnerre stone (Yonne) was sculpted under the reign of King François the 1st in 1534 for Philippe Merlan (1503-1546), Baron of Montpont, Lord of Jully-lez-Arnay-le-Duc, and general of finances in Burgundy and Bresse. It was to decorate one of the main rooms on the second floor of his castle of Arnay-le-Duc, in Côte-d’Or, in the region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. The piece has an impressive array of sculpted decoration, dominated on the front by two large oblong bas-reliefs showing naked horsemen, a lion hunt on the left, and fighting on the right. Allegories of the “hunt” and “war” are flanked by borders with richly decorated compartments of winged cherub heads, leafy vases and lined with oval friezes.

Price: on request

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