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Tiles with the Initials AM for Anne de Montmorency, Constable of France, and for Madeleine de Savoie

Date : 1542

This ensemble of 16 tiles is one of the four motifs from the first ornamental paving which decorated the floor of the Psyche gallery in the Château of Ecouen. Commissioned from Masséot Abaquesne in 1542, its square panels display the arms and mottos of Constable Anne de Montmorency and Madeleine de Savoie. Their initials are presented here framed by two ‘dexter arms’ (a heraldic term for a right hand clad in a gauntlet) and banners bearing the motto Aplanos (Straight forward). The two swords, signifying Anne de Montmorency’s role as supreme commander of the king’s armies, are inscribed with the words A Rouen/1542 (In Rouen/1542). Dismantled during the Revolution, the tiles were rediscovered and studied in the 19th century before being partially replaced in the Château of Ecouen.