Brass of the Month

July 2009: Gabriel Pluyette, 1634, Roissy-en-France, Val d'Oise, France

                         

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Page last updated 04 March 2015

    Most of Charles de Gaulle airport north-east of Paris is in the commune of Roissy-en-France, and both airport and commune are usually called just Roissy. The qualifying 'en-France' indicates Roissy's location in the Ile-de-France rather than the country as a whole. The church has a splendid Renaissance chancel and retains a number of incised slabs. The four remaining effigial slabs now line the walls of the chancel. Among them is that commemorating Gabriel Pluyette, a member of a family whose monuments can be found elsewhere in the area, at Le Mesnil-Aubry and Fontenay-sous-Louvres. Ferdinard de Guilhermy chose to illustrate it for volume two of his Inscriptions de la France du Ve siècle au XVIIIe. He noted that the traditions of piety and charity stretched down the Pluyette family from generation to generation. He gave the dimensions of the slab as 1.14 m by 0.64m, describing it as small.


    Gabriel Pluyette died at the age of 65 on the 22nd of January 1634. He left four pounds for half an acre of land to fund a high mass on the day of his death each year and also ordained that money from rent should pay for the singing of Ave Maris Stella on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


    Although Guilhermy remarks on the worn state of other slabs at Roissy, he makes no such comment on the state of Pluyette's and, comparing his illustration with the current state of the slab, much of the wear now apparent on the upper part must have taken place in the 135 years since Guilhermy saw it. The wheat sheaf in the shield, the lower part of the crucifix, and part of the inscription are now difficult to make out. The nature of the material used by the tombiers producing incised slabs in and around Paris does not lend itself to good preservation, especially  where slabs were set into the floor and were walked on every day, and the records of slabs made by Guilhermy are important even though he illustrated only a small proportion of them. Fortunately, all five volumes of his work are now available online. They cover the old diocese of Paris. Because they date from after the Revolution, there is a good chance that most of what he described can still be seen today, although Guilhermy noted that the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 had caused some further destruction.

Bibliography:


 F Guilhermy,  Inscriptions de la France du Ve siècle au XVIIIe, ancien diocèse de Paris, vol 2 (1875), pages 561-2.


F Guilhermy,  Inscriptions de la France, online:

Vol 1 (1873):  http://books.google.com/books?id=hFwvAAAAMAAJ

Vol 2 (1875):  http://books.google.com/books?id=Al8vAAAAMAAJ

Vol 3 (1877):  http://books.google.com/books?id=Wl4vAAAAMAAJ

Vol 4 (1879):  http://books.google.com/books?id=AF0vAAAAMAAJ

Vol 5 (1883) with R. de Lasteyrie:  

            http://books.google.com/books?id=f8kJAAAAIAAJ  

Or

http://books.google.com/books?id=2lsvAAAAMAAJ


Illustration from Guilhermy, reproduced as a negative

Copyright: Jon Bayliss

The present state of the slab to Gabriel Pluyette