Monday, November 19, 2012

The Home Beautiful: The Chateau d'Ecouen Tile, 1542

Tin-glazed earthenware tile.
Rouen, France, 1542
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This earthenware tile looks like the sort made in the Nineteenth Century. When I was sifting through images for this week’s posts, I came upon this object and made a note to myself about the “jester tile from 1840.” But, this is no Victorian tile—it’s about three hundred years older than that. 

The tile was made in 1542 in Rouen, France of buff earthenware with a tin glaze. Image. It’s in remarkable shape for being from the Sixteenth Century. Painted with a pointy-eared jester, the tile is likely to be one of a series of similarly-painted tiles from the workshop of Masseot Abaquesne. Other tiles from that set—made for use in pavement at the Chateau d'Ecouen --bear the arms of Anne de Montmorency impaling those of his wife Madelaine of Savoy. 

It's believed that the jester tile is associated with this group from the Chateau d'Ecouen.

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