LA FONTAINE (JEAN DE)

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Lot 86
LA FONTAINE (JEAN DE)

£ 10,000 - 15,000
US$ 12,000 - 18,000
LA FONTAINE (JEAN DE)
Document signed ("De la fontaine"), also signed by his wife ("Marie hericart"), signed again by both parties in the margin, arranging for the judicial separation of their property, 12 pages, unobtrusively silked, slight dust-staining, in a modern cloth case, folio, "A Ch[âteau]-T[hierry], au logis du sieur de la fontaine, 18 July 1660"

Footnotes

  • SIGNED THREE TIMES BY LA FONTAINE AND BY HIS WIFE, MARIE HÉRICART: this document relates to the judicial separation of property (séparation de biens) which La Fontaine and his wife arranged after the death of his father in 1658, and appears to be a sequel to an earlier hearing on 13 July 1660. It relates primarily to property inherited by his wife from her parents and grandparents. Once the various exchanges, divisions and valuations of property are calculated, La Fontaine is left owing his wife the sum of 9000 livres tournois, payable over 2 years. Both parties were present at the hearing, appearing before the royal notaries. La Fontaine is described as "maître particulier des eaux et forests du duché de Ch-T".

    A séparation de biens can be an advantage if one partner is in a risky profession (being a writer presumably qualifies) so as not to make the other partner liable for their debts; La Fontaine's finances had been in a shaky state after the death of his father, and although by 1660 he had been granted an allowance by his literary patron Superintendent Fouquet, it proved to be a prescient move, as when Fouquet fell from favour in 1661 La Fontaine was left with huge debts. He had married Marie Héricart in 1647; a son was born in 1653, but the marriage was never a happy one and the two spouses finally separated in 1664.
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