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.

Tuesday 27 December 2011

bonnes fêtes de vos amis à Schaafheim!

Prosit Neujahr 2012!
festive photo by Wolfgang Roth

Tuesday 20 December 2011

le duc de Buckingham et sa famille vous offrent joyeux fêtes 2011

Merry christmas and a successful new year 2012 
from George Villiers, first duke of Buckingham* , 
scourge of Louis XIII, 
paramour of Queen Anne d'Autriche (Dumas père), 
hopeful liberator of La Rochelle, 
general coxcomb
military booby
(and his charming family).

after Gerrit von Honthorst

*"the prettiest man in all England"


Sunday 11 December 2011

'av 'n Nappy Xmas...

joyeux noël 2011

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Hippolyte (Paul) Delaroche - Napoleon I crossing the Alps 1849-50

Monday 5 December 2011

St Vincent de Paul

Éminentissime Armand-Jean du Plessis, cardinal duc de Richelieu, appointed his clerical chum, Vincent de Paul, to look after the christian souls of the new inhabitants of his Ideal Town, particularly while the community established itself. As cardinal, one might well think that he might take on this task himself but he no doubt thought that his Responsibilities of State would not allow him time for such provincial pastoral responsibilities.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Abbé H.Proust - Tapissier

Chinon brocante market, every third Sunday of the month, October 2011.  Louis XIII style walnut upholstered foot-stool, generally 'knackered'!  Asked 60€; accepted 40€ on second approach - meillieur prix?  
Should we use an expert upholsterer? ...... NO!
Fabric from Peter Jones, Sloane Square; 1 metre of 40/60 cotton/polyester blend damask £22.00 inc VAT, colour-way 'Cardinal'! 
2 metres of fancy swagging. Supplier as above
Large 15mm dia. upholstery pins from Moran's builder's merchants, Kennington (no S!); 6 packets of 10 @ £2.50 inc VAT.
Removed old covering (and many, many rusty tacks). Re-glued the broken centre foot rail tenon both ends.  Added a white cotton under-cover to remaining spring & horsehair upholstery and stained & ripped cambric covering.  Should really have used a better quality linen cambric.
Machine-sewed cover, having cut it to size.

Inspiration from Google Images: Louis XIII Furniture...

The Abbé liked having a go at upholstery; a quite high reward/effort ratio.


Friday 25 November 2011

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Four restoration projects advance...

Here are update photos of four projects underway in November 2011.

Project A
The Cinéma Majèstic redevelopment progresses and it has now re-opened for pubic use.  Unfortunately, the Abbé Henri Proust was busy with pastoral visits on the nights that had the new film of the adventures of Belgian boy-detective, TINTIN, in the new 3-D version.  The cinema has had to be updated to allow the latest in projection technology to filter down to this little town of la france profonde.
Look HERE for a link to former posts on the project A, Cinéma Majestic.

Project B
The town's tourist office is to be relocated to a building adjacent to the church, on the place du marché.  The building is one of the original hotêls particulars that until recently was known by the name of the shop formerly located on its ground floor, Le Grand Colbert. The façade has been reconstructed and refenestrated in the authentic original layout. The roof repaired and newly slated. Half of the mansion is in the ownership of a lady in Chicago, they say, but now that part too needs a scrub-up, and needs a new ground floor tenant as well. 
Look HERE to see other posts on project B, Le Grand Colbert.

Project C
The town's hotel, le Puits Doré, is extending its property.  Although the scaffold is still in place while the faced works continue, the newly restored roof can now bee seen complete with matching lucarnes - roof lights.  As this building is fully 'listed', all the materials must be  authentic, in this case expensive roofing slates.

Project D
Another dilapidated hôtel particular on the Grande Rue is now under restoration, this time on the western side, above the former tourist office.  The dreadful old roof is under repair - as architects say; 'always protect from water coming down and water coming up!'

that's all for now, folks!

Monday 7 November 2011

The trailer for the 'awful' - new - 'Three Musketeers'...

Milady de Winter 'kisses the ring'

actually, it looks quite good fun in this trailer...

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Disputatious Aquitaine ... or ... 'Where's Coeur-de-Lion when you need him?'

...remember that this is a French advertisement for cassoulet 'La Belle Chaurienne'! from Castelnaudary

Monday 31 October 2011

Roofscape of the cardinal's mausoleum in Paris

The roofscape of the chapel of the Sorbonne in Paris,
resting place of the cardinal duc, Proviseur - rector - of the institution.
photo: Gala Ringger - with thanks and appreciation
Design by Jacques Lermercier - premier architecte du roy.
Richelieu's tomb within
Portait of Jacques Lemercier by Philip de Champaigne,
 Louis XIII's court painter

EUROpean solidarity ....€

An allegorical statue of Europa - the white bull

click on 'maps' on the right to find the statue's location

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Mousquetaires extend the security protection of the King and Queen to the Metro...

One for all, all for one...
Metro Station "Alexandre Dumas"

Monday 3 October 2011

Mini pepper-pot towers

A seventeenth century engraving of the town, after Israel Sylvestre,
looking from the West.
Note the three little roofless turrets on the middle of the western town wall, set between the two pointy-roofed 'pepper-pot' gatehouses.
Yes, amazingly, they are still there, all three of them.  With all the larger extensions into the moat, these three minor turrets are not so conspicuous as they were initially.  They need to be sorted out!
This is the current state of the turret on the right (S) today.
This is an axial view of the state of the central turret, hidden behind a tree.
This is the central turret today, lurking behind the tree (see above),
having been expanded into a house.
This is the left-hand (N) turret looking onto the moat.
This is the left-hand turret (N) from inside the wall,
now used as a garage.

The Marquis of Carabas

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glass half-full; glass half-empty

The story of Le chat botté - Puss in Boots - by Claude Perrault, from 1697.

The tale opens with the third and youngest son of a miller receiving his inheritance — a CAT. At first, the youngest son laments, as the eldest brother gains the mill, and the middle brother attains the mules. The feline is no ordinary cat, however, but one who requests and receives a pair of boots. Determined to make his master's fortune, the cat bags a rabbit in the forest and presents it to the king as a gift from his master, the fictional Marquis of Carabas. The cat continues making gifts of game to the king for several months.

One day, knowing the king and his daughter are traveling by coach along the riverside, the cat persuades his master to remove his clothes and enter the river. The cat disposes of his master's clothing beneath a rock. As the royal coach nears, the cat begins calling for help in great distress, and, when the king stops to investigate, the cat tells him that his master, the Marquis, has been bathing in the river and robbed of his clothing. The king has the young man brought from the river, dressed in a splendid suit of clothes, and seated in the coach with his daughter, who falls in love with him at once.

Puss brokes to the Ogre - an engraving by Gustave Doré

The cat hurries ahead of the coach, ordering the country folk along the road to tell the king that the land belongs to the "Marquis of Carabas", saying that if they do not he will cut them into mincemeat. The cat then happens upon a castle inhabited by an ogre who is capable of transforming himself into a number of creatures. The ogre displays his ability by changing into a lion, frightening the cat, who then tricks the ogre into changing into a mouse. Once that change is complete, the cat pounces upon the mouse and devours it. The king arrives at the castle which formerly belonged to the ogre, and, impressed with the bogus Marquis and his estate, gives the lad the princess in marriage. Thereafter, the cat enjoys life as a great lord who runs after mice only for his own amusement.

The tale is followed immediately by two morals:
"one stresses the importance of possessing industrie and savoir faire while the other extols the virtues of dress, countenance, and youth to win the heart of a princess."

The etiquette on the bottle of 'Carabas'
- Santé! -
Le Carabas is one of the names of the wines made by François Plouzeau in a vineyard, La Garrelière, not far from the cardinal duc's Ideal Town of Richelieu, above the village of Razines.  While glugging a few glasses of François' white delight, Henri Proust was puzzled by its name: CARABAS.  
Above, we publish the back-story of this top tipple.


Saturday 10 September 2011

Iconic images 2 - Richelieu Gatehouse

Gatehouse 1.
Gatehouse 2.
Gatehouse 3.
Gatehouse 4.
Gatehouse 5. 
Gatehouse 6. 
Gatehouse 7. 
Gatehouse 8. 
Gatehouse 9.