On Fri, Oct 15, 2010, Dominick
Hey Jim, my customer sent me this picture to describe how she wants the firebrick to look. Can you take a look at it and tell me if you think it is a Rumford? Do you think the firebrick have been painted to acheive that pattern?
Very nice castle. The fireplace is lined with encaustic tile probably set in plaster and would not stand the heat of a coal or wood fire. In 1630 it probably originally was built as a wood or coal-burning fireplace predating Rumford. It may have been rebuilt as a Rumford around 1800 and sometime in the last 120 years could have been rebuilt as a gas fireplace with the tile lining. Or maybe as late as 1914 when the castle was opened to the public, the fireplace was refurbished as a decorative fireplace and that's when the tile was added - and the iron fireback from the older coal fireplace added for good measure.
We do have real firebrick with red and black glazes that could be cut and laid to look like that tile lined firebox but would actually be real firebrick at least 2" thick. See the firebrick color options. Superior Clay could even panelize the firebox for you. Certainly the shape of the firebox is consistent with a Rumford design.
History (from wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Château_de_Cheverny)
The lands were purchased by Henri Hurault, comte de Cheverny, a lieutenant-general and military treasurer for Louis XI, whose descendent the marquis de Vibraye is the present owner.
Lost to the Crown because of fraud to the State, it was donated by King Henri II to his mistress Diane de Poitiers. However, she preferred Château de Chenonceau and sold the property to the former owner's son, Philippe Hurault, who built the château between 1624 and 1630, to designs by the sculptor-architect of Blois, Jacques Bougier, who was trained in the atelier of Salomon de Brosse, and whose design at Cheverny recalls features of the Palais du Luxembourg. The interiors were completed by the daughter of Henri Hurault and Marguerite, marquise de Montglas, by 1650, employing craftsmen from Blois.
During the next 150 years ownership passed to many owners, and in 1768 a major interior renovation was undertaken. Required to forfeit much of the Hurault wealth at the time of the French Revolution, the family sold it in 1802, at the height of the Empire but bought it back in 1824, during the Restauration under Charles X. The aristocracy was once again in a very strong political and economic position.
In 1914, the owner opened the chateau to the public, one of the first to do so. The family still operates it, and Château Cheverny remains a top tourist attraction to this day, renowned for magnificent interiors and its collection of furniture, tapestries, and objets d'art. A pack of some seventy dogs are also kept on the grounds and are taken out for hunts twice weekly. A video of their feeding can be viewed .
Only a portion of the original fortified castle possibly remains in existence today. It is somewhat of a mystery, because to date there is no reliable way to prove whether or not a certain section is part of the original building. An ancient travelling artist captured the original castle in a drawing, but it contains no reliable landmarks, so the drawing offers no proof one way or the other.
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