There is a museum in Rouen dedicated to the craft of wrought ironwork called Musée Le Secq des Tournelles. Jean-Louis-Henri Le Secq Destournelles (1818-1882), a painter who lived in Paris and Rome and eventually became one of the earliest photographers in France, conceived of the idea for the collection. In 1845, when Prosper Mérimée was appointed director of the French government's historical monuments department, he was commissioned to take photographs of a number of significant French landmarks. As a result of these jobs, he began collecting items of wrought iron in about 1865 and has since amassed a wide variety of ironwork from town squares and historic sites. There are roughly 16,000 items in the collection at the moment.
This fascinating (pardon the pun) museum displays one of the world's finest collections of wrought iron on two floors of a magnificently restored 16th-century church, demonstrating the incredible abilities of pre-industrial iron- and locksmiths.
How to explore Musee Secq des Tournelles?
- As soon as you enter the church, you will notice that tons of iron ornamentation are displayed in every crevice of the church and hung from every stone wall.
- Several art enthusiasts contributed their high-quality works to this museum, including the German donation (1951), the Bréard bequest (1951), and the Sangnier-Dessirier bequest (1951). (1957).
- Look at the beautiful collection of wrought ironwork, from goldsmith creations to forged and molded pieces.
- From the Gallo-Roman period to the early 20th century, 8,000 objects are displayed. The collection spans everything from monumental architecture to household goods and scientific apparatus.
- Nothing is missing from its collection, including elegant penknives to candle snuffers, beds to walled chests, candelabra to miniature firearms, intricate keys to locked chests, and jewels to treasures.
- There are commonplace items (cookers, sewing machines, ashtrays) and out-of-the-ordinary ones (pedometers, shame masks, and cologne) to look at.
2 rue Jacques Villon, 76000, Rouen, France