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A French Ormolu 3-piece chenets with Melusine figures


A fine 19th century French gilt bronze figural 3-piece chenets (andirons). Each vase-shaped chenet flanked by a winged melusine figure, joined by a balustrade fender.

Circa 1890

Height: 20"
Width: 37"-55" (adjustable)
Depth: 5.5"

Mélusine (French: [melyzin]) or Melusina is a figure of European folklore, a female spirit of fresh water in a holy well or river. She is usually depicted as a woman who is a serpent or fish from the waist down (much like a mermaid). She is also sometimes illustrated with wings, two tails, or both. Her legends are especially connected with the northern and western areas of France, Luxembourg, and the Low Countries. The Limburg-Luxemburg dynasty, which ruled the Holy Roman Empire from 1308 to 1437 as well as Bohemia and Hungary, the House of Anjou and their descendants the House of Plantagenet (kings of England) and the French House of Lusignan (kings of Cyprus from 1205–1472, and for shorter periods over Armenia and Jerusalem) are said in folk tales and medieval literature to be descended from Melusine.