French Plaque de Feu
Here at Giraudière, two cast iron fireplate plaques, fabicated in 1659, were found in two different fireplaces of the original Master’s mansion built around that time.
The two plaques have been cleaned and made ready for painting. Natalaie a volunteer from the UK has been painting the plaques so as to make ready for their resting place at La Giraudiere.
The first one is hexagonal in shape, approximately 70 centimeters in width and length. At the centre is a shield showing the fleur-de-lys, once the badge of the French Kingdom. On top of it is the Royal crown, portraying authority. On both sides, flanking the shield and crown are two palm branches, which since antiquity have been symbolic of victory, triumph, peace, and eternal life. Christianity sees the palm branch as victory of the spirit over flesh.
The second plaque is a square of the same dimension. At the base is Saint Eustace, a 2nd century patron saint of hunters and anyone facing adversity.
Eustace was the Roman general Placidus, who while hunting in Tivoli near Rome, saw the vision of a crucifix stuck between a stag’s antlers. This affected him so much, he decided to convert to Christianity.
“Canadian Volunteer Comes to Grips with French Plaque au Feu” is an article written by Reuben Lachmansingh describing the history of the French fireplace fireback found at La Giraudiere. You can read the full article at French Plaque De Feu