This Renaissance-style carved limestone mantelpiece demonstrates exuberant detail. Separate corbels are mounted on the legs and support an enormous single-faced lintel topped by a molded and dentil-carved crown. It has been speculated that the romantic betrothal-themed carving was added by a subsequent home owner and it adds a most distinct charm. The ribbons and wreaths around the portraits symbolize purity and abundance while the depiction of graceful hunting dogs and their offspring are a nod to nature and fecundity. Note that the corbels are carved in the form of sleeping puppies. This one-of-a kind period antique was sourced from France's Loire Valley, which is famous for impressive chateaus that once housed French royalty during its 16th century "golden age." This commanding limestone structure is a true statement piece for a connoisseur-collector with an appreciation for art, history, and perhaps dogs as well.