Louis XIV Sun Face
French Giltwood Plaque, 19th Century
Louis XIV Sun Face Plaque
Louis XIV Sun Face Plaque
Louis XIV Style Sun Face Plaque
French: Mid 19th Century
Giltwood
36 inches diameter
$6,500

A large giltwood sun face plaque, in the Baroque taste. Apparently, it is based on the emblem of Louis XIV (1638-1715), who was known as the Sun King. For example, a similar face with flowing hair surrounded by straight and curving radiating rays was incorporated into the decorative scheme of the golden fence and gate to his palace at Versailles.

According to the Chateau de Versailles web site, Louis XIV chose the sun for his emblem in part because of the symbolic association of the sun with Apollo, ancient Greek god of Peace and the Arts, and in part because the sun is the center of the universe, regulating the rhythms of daily life. Louis's identification as the "Sun King" was reinforced by his daily public morning rising and evening retiring ceremonies.  He had the décor of Versailles filled with depictions and attributes of Apollo — laurels, a lyre, a tripod and a face surrounded by the rays of the sun. 

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall wear, handling, minor chipping to surface, shrinkage. Four of the straight rays possibly replaced.

Reference:

"Louis XIV." Chateau de Versailles. http://en.chateauversailles.fr/history/court-people/louis-xiv-time/louis-xiv- (11 July 2014)