Discovered by Shannon Nolan
(c) 2001 Shannon Nolan
Hand-carved cypress capitals individually crafted by European masters could be from Belle Grove Plantation.
|For years Belle Grove was slowly stripped of its architectural embellishments-- the silver doorknobs, the mantels, marble, corbels and ornate carved capitals. I always wondered if anything still existed from the house, and my questions were answered when I discovered these capitals at a Texas flea market, covered in hundreds of layers of paint, hardly recognizable. In the interim, I have restored these capitals in the same manner in which they were painted historically--gessoed, primed with a rose lavender paint for warmth, and then painted a tinted white. There is NO OTHER HOUSE, standing or destroyed, that sported capitals like these. Notice in the photos the hand hewing on the back of the capital. Not to be seen in the photos, but extant, are square iron nails in fitting with the period. The work is amazing-- it is actually a conglomeration of smaller pieces PERFECTLY jointed to make a perfect whole, unmistakably the work of the European master craftsmen hired by John Andrews to make his house the irrefutable castle of Louisiana. --Shannon Nolan|
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http://www.bellegrove.net Copyright (c) Jason Stern 2003