Sunday 16 August 2015

Medieval furniture from Château Châteaudun

Château Châteaudun is a French castle rising more than 60 metres up from the banks of the Loir (a side river from the Loire). The castle was started in the 12th century, of which the keep remains, but most of it was built in the 15th century for Jean of Orleans, who fought next to Jean d'Arc. In 1456, the castle chapel contained a piece of the relic of the holy cross that was obtained by Saint/King Louis, but this is now gone (another piece of the holy cross can be seen in the Imperial treasury in Vienna). The castle is a national monument, and likely due to this, some late medieval furniture from the (depots of) the Musee des Arts Decoratifs and the Musee de Cluny (the National Musee du Moyen Age) in Paris has been placed here. I visited the castle this summer holiday and was pleasantly surprised with the furniture decorating the rooms. In most of the rooms you could even use flash-light to take photos, except (of course) for the tapestry room.

The great hall, located between the two great stairways, with some of the late medieval furniture in it.

The window shutters of the great hall all have linenfold panels.
Neogothic oak dressoir from the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, dating from the 19th century. Height 2.05 cm, Length 162 cm and depth 60 cm. The dressoir has two decorated doors at the bottom with two drawers beneath. Direct next to the doors are small parchemin panels smaller heavily decorated at the top. The headboard is of an floral/Gothic design covered with an open crown-board.

(Left) Also the side of the dressoir has a parchemin panel. (Right) The door and drawer of the dressoir. The drawer can be pulled by an iron ring. It looks like this part of the dressoir has been reinforced, as iron nails are used in places where it is not necessary.

One of the three panels of the headboard. 

The open crown of the headboard.

Oak chest dating from the first half of the 16th century from the Musee de Cluny. Height 77 cm, length 154 cm and depth 66 cm. The front of the chest is decorated with a scene of the Annunciation directly below the missing lockplate. Next to it, the other panels with have medallions which are topped by imaginary animals.

 The sides of the chest are decorated with linenfold panels. The lid consist of two planks.

An oak buffet dating from the end of the 16th century, from the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Height 170 cm, length 155 cm and depth 61 cm. The buffet has two large doors composed of four linenfold panels each. The top part of the buffet has two doors with carved panels.

 In the central panel has the letters JHS (Jesus). 

The top door panels are similarly carved with a floral pattern and a helmet and shield. The shield contains instruments of the Passion. Perhaps this buffet once belonged to a church? The hinges and the lock-plate are heavily decorated and of a German style.
(Left) The back of buffet consist of long roughly cut planks. (Right) The side of the buffet consist of a frame with four linenfold panels. Note that the horizontal middle of the frame is set at a different height than at the front of the buffet.
 The bottom of the buffet consists of four planks set in the length covered with lots of spiderwebs.

A chest made from oak and walnut dating from the second half of the 16th century originally from the Musee de Cluny. Height 80 cm, length 136 cm and depth 68 cm. The front of the chest is divided into three sections divided by pilasters. The middle scene beneath the lock contains the Annunciation, while the panel on the left contains Saint Bartholomew with a knife and on the right John the Baptist with a cup and a book.

The sides of the chest contain carved medallions surrounded by floral designs.

An oak panel wall from de Musee des Arts Decoratifs, first half of the 16th century. It consists of twelve rectangular panels separated by vertical pilasters. The panels are decorated with scroll-work and floral and animal designs of an Italian-like type. The set measures 85 by 214 cm.

Painted chest made from oak and walnut from the Musee de Cluny. Height 95 cm, length 157 cm and height 67 cm. Christ stands at the centre of the chest front and he is surrounded by the apostles. The bottom rail is decorated with children's heads.

The apostle Thomas with the square and a book.

The sides of the chest show some undefined gilded statues.

In the kitchens of the castle two very stout working tables are found with a thickness around 9-10 cm. 
No date is given for the tables.

The legs of the kitchen table are ingeniously connected to the table top  with a dovetail and a mortise.

Oak chest from the 15th, early 16th century, originating from the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Height 67 cm, length 151 cm and depth 63 cm. This is a strange combination of a chest with a frames and panels, in which the sides are connected by dovetails. The four panels on the front consist of decorated arches in which a linenfold pattern is carved.

(Left) The side of the chest also has linenfold panels set in a frame and an wrought iron handle. On the sides of the frame the dovetails can be seen. The lid is made out of a single plank. (Right) The wrought iron handle.

These are two oak neogothic double seater chairs were made in the 19th century and originate from the Musee de Cluny. Height 143 cm, length 108 cm and seating height 43 cm.

(Left) The pattern of the backrest panel. (Right) The side of the chair.
 Detail of the side of the chair with two open panels.

Bank with a chest from the 16th century originating from the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Height 205 cm, Length 136 and depth 55 cm. The panels from the chest part are carved with a linenfold pattern, those directly above the seating are plain, while the top contain flamboyant Gothic trace-work topped with a medallion. The space between the pinnacles originally was filled with an open-worked foliage style crown.
 A 16th century trunk in the tapestry room. Note that the lid of the trunk is set asymmetrically.

1 comment:

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