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This pair of columns and tazze would have been made to stand either side of a grand commode or console table, most probably in a hallway or salon. This red marble was mined in Rance, Belgium, in the province of Hainaut. This area is provided marble for prestigious building projects as well as for decorative use.
It has been exploited since Roman times but became particularly popular from the 17th century with its prolific use in the Royal Chateau of Versailles which was built for King Louis XIV.
Large quantities were used for the most prestigious parts of the Palace of Versailles, including the walls of the "Galerie des Glaces" (Hall of Mirrors). Also, the columns of the main portico on the "Cour des Marbres" (Marble Courtyard). This project required such quantities of marble that a new quarry was established and named "Trou de Versailles" (hole of Versailles) to satisfy the enormous demand needed for the French royal houses.
From the 18th century "Rouge de Rance" became a popular material for fireplaces, clocks, and tops for console tables and commodes.
The mining of rouge marble in Rance ceased in the 1950s. In 1979, a museum dedicated to Belgian Marbles was opened there.