Saturday, 12 December 2015

Will the real Mr. Brickmaker please stand up?

We have always thought that Noël Marembeaud, no matter how the name is spelled, has been the founder of La Tuilerie de Chazelle. All clues were pointing in that direction: dozens of bricks we found around the house, a number of floor tiles, some roof tiles, all with his name printed on them, the memorial plaque which I have mentioned earlier, with his name, birth year and year of death chiselled in….

The well known stamp
Whenever we found another broken or damaged brick with his name printed within its distinctive cadre, we hardly looked at them, convinced as we were it was another Marembeaud brick.
Until Sue decided to protect the roots of a plant with some old roof tiles and broken bricks she had found somewhere.

La Tuilerie (sketch Michel Bouillot)
Without any apparent reason I picked up one of the bricks and noticed that the name I was expecting was not that of Marembeaud, but a totally unknown name to me of which most likely the first letter was missing.
Without too much fantasy one might draw the following conclusion: the name on the brick was "(B)OURGEON ANTOINE", with under it the text "(A CHA)ZELLE". The letters between brackets are my guess.

The odd one out
Bourgeon is not an uncommon name around here, and based on the length of the cadre around the name it seemed unlikely that there had been more than one letter in front of OURGEON. The question boils down to the following: who was the founder (or the successor) of La Tuilerie de Chazelle? The name Marembeaud occurs most frequently; Bourgeon we have only encountered once. And maybe Bourgeon was someone who ordered a load of bricks and wanted his name engraved in them.

To tell the truth (Saint Nicholas) Dutch version
To paraphrase the old game show "To tell the truth": "Will the real Mr. Brickmaker please stand up?". However, that would be a resurrection from the grave, I am afraid….

Click here for the website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle.

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