The topics of this blog are Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duke of Richelieu, and the IDEAL CITY built on his command next to his magnificent CHÂTEAU on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, in France.

Friday 30 November 2007

Original owners of the Mansions on the Grande Rue, Richelieu, in 1640.

The list included in the following Scribd file below tells of the owners of the 28 matching mansions (hotêls particuliers) in the Grande Rue of the ideal town of Richelieu. They were constructed to a standard design specification determined by Cardinal Richelieu for the sum of 10,000 Livres Tournois (Tour Pounds) each; at the time a princely sum. They were to be ordered by the 'Creatures' of the Cardinal who compised his court; generally those who were endebted to him for their advancement to public office in some way. Had the Cardinal lived beyond his untimely death in 1642 at the age of 57, these houses would have provided his newly constructed Château with a court; company for his later years in retirement. Click on the various buttons of the Scribd file to enlarge, print or download the file.

Tuesday 20 November 2007

Art et Meubles de France - RICHELIEU

Located on the town's industrial estate is the large furniture factory of the company Art et Meubles de France, Richelieu. The company manufactures high quality historic furniture, mainly in accurate reproduction of famous French classical styles. The main production is of the Louis XV and XVI and Directoire styles of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, but other earlier periods (including Louis XIII) are made too. The image above for example is a table à gibier, a hunting 'game' table, in the style of the 17th century.

They also make all sorts of architectural fitments and flooring parquet panels, all cabinet-maker produced at very high quality.

Although the firm has reduced in staff size in recent years, it employs many people from the locality in this very specialised craft.

While the 'Richelieu' brand is still made entirely in France, they have now started a second brand, 'Vauban', that is part manufactured in Romania to take advantage of the lower labour costs that can be found in the East.

Each year the company has a 'factory' sale when big reductions on the recommended list prices are offered - sometimes as much as 40%. The most recent took place on 12 November 2007.