June 16, 2010

Musée Henri Barré - June 14

We visited the Musée Henri Barré today, in our home town.  It took on the designation of museum in 1893, but it was only after the death of Mrs. Barré in 1912 that the City of Thouars took over the museum and its collections.

This once private residence was built in 1862 in the neo-gothic style.

The collections have retained the cachet of private collections from the XIX century.

Karl was particularly taken with the chimney tiles found in the back of fireplaces that absorb heat and continue to radiate hours after the embers are out.  There was a wonderful collection and they represent the handiwork of artisans from cast iron (foundry) to artist.

These ornate clocks that we see in so many museums and châteaux remind us of the passage of time, of the link between past and present.

Karl stands next to a porter chair.  Note the handles on both sides where wooden beams would be inserted and then carried by the porters.  This carriage is so small that I suspect it was made for a woman.  But the women had big skirts, so perhaps a small man would have fit in.

There was an amazing collection of swords, épées, hunting knives, daggers, sabres, etc. 

The first bicycles began to appear.

This one looks like one might need a very good sense of balance.

Absolutely loved this doll with all her changes of clothes!  The hats were extremely well made, with careful attention to the smallest detail.

A moving toy.

A very fancy bird cage.

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