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les Enluminures

Inventory of Tapestries found, appraised, and sold in the Hôtel des Tournelles (Paris), the Hôtel de Bohême (Paris), and transferred to Blois, properties of Valentina Visconti, Duchess of Orléans (1368- 1408), widow of Louis d’Orléans, and her son Charles, Duke of Orléans (1394-1465); Charter of Sale of Hôtel des Tounelles to the Duke of Berry in 1402

In French, manuscripts on paper and parchment (2)
France, Paris, dated 20 June 1408; 27 August 1408; 7 September 1404 (charter)

TM 706

p>8 ff., a single quire, on paper (watermark close to Briquet “Ancre” no. 349, Bourges, 1398; 350, Troyes, 1401; 1493-1410; Sens, 1405; Orléans, 1407), written in a highly cursive script (often abridged), in light brown ink, some entries crossed out. Unbound. Good general condition (outer borders a bit frayed). Dimensions 305 x 220 mm. (1) Joined: written in a secretarial script, large parchment leaf folded. Dimensions 630 x 520 mm. (2)

Rare, unpublished inventory of great art-historical interest offering a dated snapshot of a collection of tapestries, with subjects and appraised value established by two tapestry merchants: Pierre Beaumetz and Jehan Gloria. The tapestries are those in three properties of the House of Orléans, the Hôtel des Tournelles, the Hôtel de Bohême, and Blois. Artists mentioned include Nicolas Bataille, Jacques Dourdain, Alain Dionys, and André de Mouchy. Joined: original Charter for the 1402 sale of the Hôtel des Tournelles to the Duke of Berry. 


1. Inventory copied in 1408, as confirmed by script, watermark (likely a Troyes papermill c. 1403-1410) and date found in document in heading on f. 1. The document likely comes from the former archives of the Chambre des comptes de Blois (Archives des ducs d’Orléans), dispersed before the Revolution (see L. de Laborde, Les ducs de Bourgogne..., 1849-1852, III, pp. X-XVIII) and bought in large part by the Baron de Joursanvault (see below).

2. Collection Baron de Joursanvault, as suggested by a paper folder printed “Archives de M. Gaignarre, Baron de Joursanvault.” The present archive was not included in the sale’s catalogue of 1838 (see Catalogue [Joursanvault]. Catalogue analytique des archives de M. le Baron de Joursanvault, contenant une precieuse collection de manuscrits, chartes et documents originaux..., tome I et II, Paris, J. Techener, 1838). Interestingly Baron de Joursanvault owned other documents and archives pertaining to tapestry, see “Tapisseries”, nos. 790-796 [Joursanvault] (1838), pp. 132-133.

Jean-Baptiste Gaignarre (1748-1792), Baron de Joursanvault was an important collector and antiquarian, whose collection was formed over 23 years and housed in Beaune. The collection was initially destined to be sold en bloc to the French State (the collection was largely constituted from the dispersal of what was left of the archives of the Chambre des comptes de Blois; see Laborde, Les ducs de Bourgogne..., 1849-1852, III, p. XVIII). Instead, the collection was dispersed in a sale held in 1838, with certain documents bought by institutions in France and Europe. The collection and its dispersal is discussed at length by L. Delisle in his Cabinet des manuscrits (Paris, 1881, vol. II, pp. 295-297 “Vente de la collection Joursanvault” and 317; vol. III, p. 381). On the unsuccessful efforts of Sir Henry Ellis to have the entire collection enter the British Museum, see Report from the Select Committee on the Condition, Management and Affairs of the British Museum, 1835, pp. 105-112 and 432-435. The British Museum (represented by Moore) at the time acquired the sections in the 1838 sale’s catalogue relative to the House of Blois and Orléans, entitled “Costumes” and “Meubles” [Joursanvault] (1838), pp. 116- 119, including lot 719: “Six pièces fort curieuses, relatives à la tapisserie des chambres des ducs d’Orléans” (dated 1398)([Joursanvault] (1838), p. 118). See also lot 712: “Colin Bataille, marchand de tappicerie...” (1393-1395 ([Joursanvault] (1838), pp. 117). Other documents concerning the household of Orléans, for instance the documents relative to the “ancienne librairie des ducs d’Orléans” was acquired at the time by the Bibliothèque du Louvre (see Delisle, 1881, II, p. 296).

3. European Private Collection.


At the turn of the fifteenth century, Paris was the preferred place of residence of important princely and royal families, and was famous for its arts, including the production and trade of tapestries, with great tapestry designers established there, such as Pierre de Beaumetz (active 1383-1418), Jacques Dourdain and Colin (Nicolas) Bataille (all quoted in the present Inventory of 1408, although presumably Dourdain and Bataille were no longer active, and their wives or widows appear in their place). The weavers worked between Paris and Arras. To the Paris school belongs the credit for the creation of one of the finest set of surviving tapestries, the seven hangings representing the Apocalypse made for Louis I of Anjou in 1376, commissioned at the shop of Colin Bataille with Jean Bondol, painter to the King, providing the cartoons. Annotations of payments made to both Bataille and Bondol for the Apocalypse tapestries are recorded in an account for the years 1373-1379 (Paris, Archives nationales, KK 242).

The tapestry designers and merchant-weavers quoted in this inventory are known to have worked for Louis d’Orléans (1372-1407), Valentine Visconti (1370-1408; widow of Louis d’Orléans) and her son Charles d’Orléans. These tapestry designers also worked extensively for other princes, such as King Charles VI, Jean Duke of Berry and Philip the Bold Duke of Burgundy. This last prince’s ducal household expense accounts also disclose payments to merchant-weavers Jacques Dourdain and Pierre de Beaumetz or high-loom tapestries or tapestries of Arras, a name which soon achieved fame and was used as a generic name (see Wilson, 2011). Their peculiarity – apart from the famous fine thread of Arras wool – was that they were worked exclusively on a high loom (haute lice). Gold was also abundantly used, to create reflections of light. The providers and designers of tapestries destined and sold to the princely households have been studied and scrutinized of late (see Joubert, 1990; Schneebalg-Perelman, 2003; and Wilson, 2011, who studied the “tapissiers” of Philip the Bold and Jean sans Peur). Wilson shows how the function of “tapissier” was a multiple function, capable of providing luxury tapestries but also of providing repairs and modifications to existing tapestries. All three of the major merchant-weavers quoted in this inventory (Pierre Beaumetz, entrusted to appraise and sell the hangings and chambers), Colin Bataille and Jacquet Dourdain) are recorded as having worked for the important ducal households and the French King (see Wilson, 2011, esp. pp. 18-19). The present rediscovered inventory provides the names of other merchant-weavers, such as Alain Dionys, Colin Simon et alia.

The tapestries commissioned by the king and royal princes (such as king Charles VI, the Dukes of Anjou, Bourgogne, Berry and Orléans) often presented biblical scenes and scenes of didactic and moralizing nature, as well as scenes from history and popular “romans”, pastoral scenes, and scenes from natural and supernatural bestiaries. The expenditures for these tapestries were enormous and the tapestries were a luxury commodity. They certainly served utilitarian needs, to cover bare and humid walls, to keep out winter drafts and and cold and to light up and decorate lodges and palaces. But they were also, much like illuminated books, deliberately intended art works. The present inventory is precious because it provides the materials and techniques used, whilst also giving us a market value for these tapestries in 1408. Last, but not least, the inventory gives us the subjects – sometimes quite detailed – of some forty late fourteenth and early fifteenth-century tapestries once belonging to the Duke of Orléans. Finally, the inventories are equally precious, because although the Dukes of Anjou and Burgundy have been studied as patrons of tapestries, the Dukes of Orléans have been less studied. They were clearly important owners and patrons of tapestries and their patronage in this field deserves to be better studied and documented. This inventory clearly merits a critical edition and confrontation with archival and extant material relative to late fourteenth-century and early fifteenth-century tapestry production.

ff. 1-3v, Pierre de Beaumetz and Jehan Gloria, Inventory of tapestries appraised, found and sold in the Hôtel des Tournelles (Paris), dated 20 June 1408, incipit, “Le vendredy XXe jour de juing l’an IIIIc et huit et es jours ensuyvant en l’ostel des tournelles furent veues et aulnées [aune de Paris, aune d’Arras: a measure of cloth; in England, an “ell”; the unit of an “aune” was equal to 1.25 meters] et prisées les chambres de tappisserie et autres tappisseries qui s’ensuivent par Pierre Beaumet et Jehan [Gla] (for Gloria?) tappissiers demourant a Paris. / Premierement. Une chambre de tappisserie d’or et de soye et de laine a la devise de petiz enfens en une riviere (?) dont le ciel, dossier et la couverture du lit contenant a l’aune d’arras C IIII...”;  

In 1408, the Hôtel des Tournelles was owned by Charles d’Orléans (1394-1465) who first married Isabelle de France (1389-1409), daughter of Charles VI and Isabeau de Bavière. Isabelle de France was Duchess of Orléans until her death in December 1408. Charles d’Orléans and Isabelle de France married in 1406, and Charles became Duke of Orléans in 1407 following the murder of his father Louis of Orléans by Jean sans Peur, Duke of Bourgogne. In 1408, he was thus still quite young, since he ascended to the duchy at the age of thirteen (1407). His grief-stricken mother Valentina Visconti, widow of Louis d’Orléans, held the title of Duchess of Orléans until her death on 4 December 1408. This inventory (dated 20 June 1408) was likely drafted when Valentina Visconti was still in place as Duchess of Orléans.

f. 3v, Pierre de Beaumetz and Jehan Gloria, Added items to 20 June inventory (Hôtel des Tournelles), dated 27 August 1408, incipit, “Item le lundi .xxvii. d’aoust prisés par lesdessuditz Beaumet et Gloria”;

f. 4, blank;

f. 4v, Pierre de Beaumetz and Jehan Gloria, Other tapestries appraised, found, and some sold in the Hotel de Bohême (Paris), property of the House of Orléans, dated 22 June 1408, incipit, “Autre tappisserie aulnée et prisée en l’ostel appellé Behaigne le vendredi apres disner .xxii. jour de juing l’an dessus dit .IIII.c. et huit [1408] par lesdessudiz Beaumet et [Gla] (abbreviated) / Le tappiz que vendi Gaude a feu monseigneur le duc de l’istoire des .vii. vices et .vii. vertuz, ouvré d’or et de layne..”;

The Hôtel de Behaigne or Bohême was given by Charles VI to Louis d’Orléans in 1388. It was also called Hôtel de Nesle, located near the current Bourse de Commerce, in Paris (near the Louvre). The Duke of Orléans furnished the Hôtel de Bohême with many art works, including tapestries. There is a lot described in the Joursanvault Collection (sold 1838) that gives an “Etat détaillé de toutes les tapisseries qui se trouvaient dans les diverses résidences du duc d’Orléans, et notamment dans l’hôtel de Behaigne (de Bohême), à Paris” ([Joursanvault], 1838, no. 794, p. 133; archive currently unlocalized).

ff. 5-6, List of tapestries appraised and brought to Blois (unsold items), incipit, “Censuivent les parties des chambres et tappisseries que pieça furent veuz, visités et prises par omes en ce congnoissant qui ne furent mie venduz et furent portés a Blois avecques plusieurs autres choses...”; “Item une chambre de tappisserie de haulte lisse sur champ vermeil semée de bracques de bras et de faucons....” 

From 1397 onwards, Blois becomes the favored residence of the Dukes of Orléans, including Louis d’Orléans and the poet-prince Charles d’Orléans. Blois would become a royal residence under King Louis XII. This portion of the inventory records the tapestries that were not sold, once appraised by Pierre Beaumetz, and moved to Blois once the “sale” finished. This explains the fact that some of the tapestries described in the Hôtel de Tounelles and Hôtel de Bohême inventories are listed here (hence twice). For instance on f. 2 (Hotel des Tournelles) is described “une chambre vermeille semee de bracques, de braz et de faucons.” The same tapestry, unsold, is moved to Blois, as listed on f. 5: “Item une chambre de tappisserie de haulte lisse sur champ vermeil semee de bracques, de bras et de faucons...”

ff. 6v-8v, blank, with the exception of a date added in a later hand: “1408 juin 20.”

This inventory is of great interest because it offers a dated snapshot of a collection of tapestries, with subjects and appraised value at market prices by two tapestry merchants: Pierre Beaumetz and Jehan Gloria. The tapestries are those found and hung in three properties of the House of Orléans, that is the Hôtel des Tournelles, the Hôtel de Bohême (de Behaigne) and at Blois, then owned by Charles, Duke of Orléans who was still young (he was 13 when his father Louis d’Orléans was assasinated in 1407). The Hôtel des Tournelles and Hôtel de Bohême were still frequented and run by Valentine Visconti, the widow of Louis d’Orléans and mother of Charles duc of Orléans. The tapestries found in both the Hotel des Tournelles and de Boheme were likely commissioned by Louis d’Orléans during his lifetime. The request for an inventory of the tapestries is most likely tied to the untimely death of Louis d’Orléans, Valentine Visconti’s spouse, herself a great patron of arts. Valentine Visconti died little time after the present inventories, in December 1408.  

The study of the delivery of tapestries at the French and Burgundian ducal courts in the later fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries reveals a coherent group of persons who mostly reside in Paris and Arras and are referred to as “tapestry-makers” or “merchants-weavers.” Among this group of professionals, one can make out those few who managed to carve themselves a position of regular suppliers of the dukes, some of whom were eventually granted the title of “valet de chambre” and occasionally carried out the function of guardian of the tapestries, while the others remained occasional suppliers or experts in the repair, maintenance, conditioning and transport of the tapestries. It seems here that the Duchess (or the young Duke, still a minor) of Orléans asked two of these merchant-dealers in tapestries – Pierre Beaumetz and Jehan Gloria – to conduct an appraisal of the hangings, likely following the murder of Louis d’Orléans who had commissioned or purchased most of them before his death in the later fourteenth century.
Amongst the tapestry dealers that are quoted in this document (often related to a given tapestry) one finds Nicolas (Colin) Bataille (fl. 1363-1408), Dourdin Jacquet or Jacques Dourdain (fl. 1385-1407), Alain Dionys, André de Mouchy (Moussy). Interestingly, the wives of the merchant-dealers are mentioned, as they must have taken over their aging or deceased husbands affairs (“pour la femme N. Bataille”; “la femme Jacquet Dordin” [identifiable as “Amelot Dourdin”, see Wilson, 2011, p. 27]). All these merchants were middlemen, dealers and financiers who commissioned the tapestries from actual weavers for the ducal households of Orléans, Anjou and Bourgogne. The name of one of the two tapestry merchants quoted in the heading is Pierre Beaumet or Pierre de Beaumetz (fl. 1383-1418), from northern France (Arras?) but established in Paris, who also worked for the Houses of Bourgogne and Berry (Pierre de Beaumetz is found quoted in expense accounts for in the last quarter of the fourteenth century, see Wilson, 2011, pp. 16-17). We have not yet identified the second merchant, Jehan [Gla] (Gloria?). Both are asked to list the tapestries, appraise them, have them fixed when required and sell them. Sometimes, one can trace the names of the original sellers: “Cest chambre fut achetee de Jaquet Dordin...” (f. 2v). Also, the names of some of the purchasers are provided. Interestingly, the purchasers are the often from the trade or even other institutions, and in the margins one reads: “Vendu a la chancellerie”; “Messire Gilles l’a fait bailler a la royne”; “Pour la femme N. Bataille” (twice, f. 2v); “Pour la femme Colin Bataille” (f. 3v); “Pour Colin Simon” (f. 3v); “Poulain le doit prendre pour le pris qu’il est prisé...” (f. 3v: this could be Jehan Poulain, “varlet de chambre et garde des finances de monseigneur le duc de Touraine” (Duke of Orléans); see Champollion-Figeac, 1844, pp. 64-65). Also indicated is the condition of the tapestries, some damaged and worn, in need of repair.

Most of the merchants of the second half of the fourteenth century sold tapestries made in Arras or according to the technique perfected in Arras. The tapestries “de haute lice” (high-loom) described were made using “laine d’Arras” (wool of Arras) or “fin fil d’Arras.” The tapestries from Arras benefited from a solid reputation and Arras became in the fourteenth-century a leading centre of tapestry-making. The name of the town became a generic name for wall hangings in Italian (arrazi), as well as in English (“arras”). Production in Arras started on a large scale in 1394 when the town came into the possession of the dukes of Burgundy and continued until its sack in 1477 (on Arras as a centre of production, see Campbell, 2002, chapter “Merchants and Weavers in Northern Europe. 1380-1480”, pp. 29 et sqq). The hangings travelled extensively, going from one hotel to another, often loaned. There was even such a trade as “rappareilleurs” who repaired the “itinerant” tapestries of the members of the house of Valois, of Burgundy and of Orléans, who all collected tapestries in large quantities as can be deduced from surviving inventories and archives.

Surviving from this golden age of tapestry weaving, are precious few extant examples. Well known sets from this period of the later fourteenth-century and early fifteenth-century tapestry-making are the tapestries of the Apocalypse (circa 1373-1380) now in the château d’Angers (whose production arrangements were in the hands of Nicolas Bataille) and the Neuf Preux (c. 1400-1410, New York, Metropolitain Museum of Art, Cloisters). Other important extant hangings from the period (woven in Arras and/or Paris using the Arras technique of high-loom) are in museums such as Brussels, Musées royaux d’art et d’histoire, Présentation de l’Enfant Jésus au Temple (Colin Bataille?, see Souchal, 1973, pp. 38-39); Victoria and Albert Museum (Descent from the Cross, Entombment and Resurrection (first quarter of the 15th c.); Romance of Jourdain de Blaye (now in Padova, Museo civico); Histoire des saints Piat et Eleuthère (Tournai, Cathedral, datable Arras, 1402).

The sets of “chambers” or “tapestry rooms” often consisted not only of wall hangings, but also as items serving as bedspreads or canopies. Amongst the subjects (often secular and pastoral) of the present figurative wall-hangings that belonged to members of the Household of Orléans, one might quote the following, such as a “une chambre de tappisserie d’or et de soye a la devise de petiz enfens en une riviere” (f. 1); a “chambre de tappisserie de haulte lisse a la devise de la fontaine de Jouvent et plusieurs autres personnaiges” (sold by the merchant-weaver Alain Dionys) (f. 2); “une chambre vermeille semée de braques de braz et de faucons ouvrez d’or et de laine...” (f. 2); “[...] autre chambre de tappisserie sur champ vermeil a plusieurs abrisseaux et ou millieu au . i. lyon et .iiii. bestes aux .iiii. coings...” (f. 2v); “[…] deux grans tappiz de haulte lisse pour salles ouvrés d’or, de soye, de layne de l’istoire du viel testament et du nouvel...” (f. 3); “Item . i. autre tappiz des joustes de lancelot... » (f. 3); “Item .i. autre grant tappiz de Beuve de Hantonne..” (f. 3); “Item deux grans tappiz de theseus...” (f. 3v); “Item ung autre grant viel tappiz de haute lisse de histoire de la destruction de troyes...” (f. 3v). This last hanging is interesting because we know of a tapestry representing the “Destruction of Troy” attributed to Jacquet Dourdain, commissioned by Isabeau de Bavière in 1399 (Paris, AN, KK 42, ff. 223-224; quoted in Wilson, 2011, p. 18). Champollion-Figeac quotes in extenso a 1403 inventory of the Duke of Orléans that also lists the same hangings, with less detail, but one can identify the same tapestries listed here (see Champollion-Figeac, 1844, pp. 248-250). Also quoted in Champollion-Figeac, archives quoting the payment to Nicolas Bataille for an Histoire Theseus, Beuve de Hantonne, Histoire des enfans Regnault de Montauban etc., all listed in the present inventory (see Champollion-Figeac, 1844, pp. 28-29).

A worthy project would be to trace the tapestries mentioned here or to cross-reference them with other inventories that mention these hangings (such as the documents listed or published by Champollion-Figeac, 1844). A very important start would be to link the present Inventory to other documents relative to the Orléans and Blois households, some of which are of course in the collections of the Archives nationales (Paris) but also amongst the holdings of the British Library, since a substantial number of lots in the Joursanvault sale (1838, see Provenance above) was acquired by the British Museum (see Delisle, II, pp. 295-296), including the sections relative to “Meubles” (Furniture) and “Costumes.” At the time, L. de Laborde had provided a list of the names of those who acquired lots in the sale, and the “Tapisseries” lots were acquired at the time by the collectors Barrois, De la Saunaye, Techener, Thery (see Laborde, Les ducs de Bourgogne, 1849-1852, III, pp. XXI-XXIII). We were able to tie certain entries in the present 1408 inventory with other archives mentioning the same tapestries. For instance, lot 793 ([Joursanvault] (1838), p. 132) mentions: “Autres tapis fait par Nicolas Bataille, de l’histoire de Pentisalée, de Beuve de Hantonne, des enfans Regnault de Montauban...” Our inventory of 1408 lists: “Item .i. Autre grant tappiz de Beuve de Hantonne ouvré d’or...[...] Item ung aultre grant viel tappiz de Regnaud de Montauben ouvré d’or et de laine...” (f. 3). Another lot 791 in the Joursanvault sale included “Diverses tapisseries faites pour le duc d’Orléans par Jehan de Joudoigne et Jaques Dourdin. Tapis de la fontaine de Jouvence...” ([Joursanvault] (1838), pp. 132). Again our inventory of 1408 lists: “Item une autre chambre de tappisserie de haulte lisse a la devise de la fontaine de Jouvent et plusieurs aultres personnages dont le ciel, le dossier, la couverte du lit sont ouvrés d’or, de soye et de laine...” (in the margin, one reads “Allain Dyonis” (f. 2)). Again lot 794 ([Joursanvault] (1838), p. 132) records: “Descriptions de plusieurs autres tapisseries, et notamment d’un tapis de chapelle, de l’arbre de vie...” Our inventory of 1408 lists : “Item .i. petit tappiz de chappelle fait en maniere d’un sepulcre...Item .i. petit tappiz de l’abre de vie ouvré d’or...” (f. 3v and 4v). Finally, our inventory of 1408 documents another famous tapestry attributed to Colin Bataille (merchant-weaver responsible for the famous Apocalypse tapestries, c. 1373-1380): “Item deux grans vie[l]z tappiz de theseus et sont aux armes feu M. d’Anjou...” (f. 3v). The tapestry Istoire de Theseus et de l’aigle d’or is recorded as being sold by Colin Bataille to Louis d’Orléans (see Champollion-Figeac, 1844, pp. 28-29; Souchal, Chefs d’oeuvre de la tapisserie, 1973, p. 36).             


[Charter]. Vidimus dated 7 September 1404, of the sale of the Hôtel des Tournelles owned by Pierre d’Orgemont, Bishop of Paris, to Jean Duke of Berry in 1402, large parchment leaf folded (dimensions 630 x 520 mm).

Incipit, “A tous ceulx qui ces presentes lettres veront, Guillaume seigneur de Thignonville, chevalier conseillier et chambellan du roy nostre sire, garde de la prevosté de Paris, salut...” Inscription on the reverse side: “1402. 16 mars. Pierre d’Orgemont éveque de Paris vend son hotel des Tournelles près le fauxbourg St-Antoine au Duc de Berry”; another inscription reads : “Letres faisans mension comment monseigneur l’evesque de paris a vendu sa maison pres la porte saint anthoine a monseigneur le duc de berry...” 

Elegant charter documenting the sale of the Hôtel de Tournelles to Jean Duke of Berry in 1402. It is a “vidimus”, which is a certified copy of another original act. This vidimus undoubtedly was produced in 1404 and given to the Duke of Orléans by the Duke of Berry to justify his ownership of the Hôtel des Tournelles.

The Palais or Hôtel des Tournelles was built in 1390 by Pierre d’Orgemont, chancelor of France under Charles VI. Some twelve years later, his son Pierre d’Orgemont, bishop of Paris, sold the Hôtel des Tournelles to Jean, Duke of Berry (1340-1416) in 1402 for the sum of 14 000 écus d’or. In 1404, the Duke of Berry traded the Tournelles with Louis, Duke of Orléans (brother of Charles VI). The Duke of Orléans was assassinated in 1407, and it was inherited by Charles, Duke of Orléans who sold it eventually in 1417 to the King of France, which became the “maison royalle des Tournelles.” Upon the death of Charles VI in 1422, the Hôtel des Tournelles became the residence of the Duke of Bedford, brother of Henry V of England.

The Hôtel de Tournelles, situated rue St-Antoine, facing the Hôtel Saint-Paul (or Saint-Pol), was a now-demolished collection of buildings, to the north of the site of what is now place des Vosges. It was named after its many “tournelles” or little towers. At the start of the 15th century, the whole district around it formed a huge rectangle marked out by rue Saint-Antoine, rue des Tournelles, rue de Turenne and rue Saint-Gilles, which was broken from within by the royal estate’s park. During the English occupation of Paris from 1420 to 1436, the Duke of Bedford extended it by purchasing eight and a half acres from the nuns of Sainte-Catherine for 200 livres 16 sous, thus extending the property as far as the fortified wall of Paris, then situated on the site of what is now boulevard Richard Lenoir. This extension was annulled in 1437 after the English defeat. The main entrance to the Hôtel was at the bottom of what is now impasse Guéménée. It was said to be able to support 6,000 people.

Like the Hôtel Saint-Pol, the Hôtel des Tournelles was made up of a collection of buildings spread over an estate of more than 20 acres, including twenty chapels, several pleasure grounds, ovens and twelve galleries housing the Duke of Bedford’s famous “Galerie des courges” (so-called due to the painted green squashes (courges) decorating its walls - under its tiled roof his arms, devices and heraldry were shown). It also included a maze called “Dedalus”, two parks planted with trees, six kitchen gardens and a ploughed field. The council chamber was notable for the magnificence of its decoration. Three other rooms bore the names salle des Écossais, salle de brique and salle pavée. No remains survive of the Hôtel besides a copy of one of its gates, which forms the south gate of église Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs, and some caves buried below buildings in the district.


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