This 15th-century residence, remodeled in the 19th century, has a rich and varied history—like its contents, up for auction on July 23 and 25.
The Flower room with a Louis XVI period chest of drawers stamped by François Reizell (2 500/3 500 €).
Parigné-le-Pôlin, a little village with a population of 1,073, lies in the heart of the Sarthe, in the historic province of Maine, 20 km (12.4 miles from Le Mans. Close to other villages with picturesque names like Guécélard and Cérans-Foulletourte (you couldn’t make them up!), the village, built on the side of a plateau rising to 111 meters, stands out for its rich heritage, which includes a remarkable church, a wash house and... three castles! The Château de Montertreau (19th century) is privately owned and cannot be visited, while until 2015 the Château de Perrais (older, dating back to the 17th century) housed the Institution Saint-Michel des Perrais, a private Catholic school whose illustrious alumni included the sailor Olivier de Kersauson and the politician François Fillon. So much for the setting. But the château that interests us is the third one: La Chevalerie.
A Long and Varied History
The privately-owned Château de la Chevalerie has its roots in the 15th century: it was built in 1434 by Jean de la Cellerie. His daughter married Baron Jean des Escotais, who came from a family of notables including a Gentleman of the King's Chamber, a Lieutenant-General and a Field Marshal. She gave him an only daughter, who later married one of the De Brocs, a noble family of Anjou and Brittany. The estate has remained in the family until today (while the family Château des Perrais was sold in 1946). At the end of the 19th century, the Marquis de Broc, grandfather of the current owner, carried out some major work, which his grandson completed in 2013. Towards the end of the Second World War, the château employed over eighty people in its heyday. This rich and ancient history is reflected in some 700 lots of furniture now being sold over two days. As usual in large residences of this type, the furniture takes pride of place. You can choose between a walnut "Buffet à pierre" (105 x 104 x 70 cm/41.3 x 40.9 x 27.5 in): a dresser carved with foliage and scrolls, with a Saint-Cyr stone top with bird’s beak and cavetto molding—an 18th-century piece from Lyon estimated at €4,000/6,000—, a large American and French billiard table (78 x 160 x 290 cm/30.7 x 63 x 114 in) with six turned baluster feet, which comes with five cues and nineteen balls (€2,000/5,000), or a commode with a protruding façade (95 x 129 x 69 cm/37.4 x 50.8 x 27.2 in). In tulipwood and kingwood veneer, with a breccia marble top, it is stamped by François Reizell (admitted as master in 1764) and JME (€2,500/3,500, see photo). There are of course numerous family mementos, including portraits of ancestors, marquis and marquises de Broc (between €100/200 and €800/1,200). House sales are not often held in France, and this one immerses us in the intimacy and history of a noble French family.