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Curiously enough, the pelican - no native bird after all - is no stranger to gable stone land and always in the same setting: pecking blood out of its chest to feed its young.
Note the beak of 'our' pelican. It is certainly not that of a pelican. And it is a myth that a pelican rips open its breast. And there is certainly no blood involved. A nesting pelican simply bends its beak to its chest to feed its young with the fish it has brought with it in its throat pouch.
And the Dalmatian pelican in particular has a red mark on its throat pouch that looks suspiciously like a bleeding wound. That is why.
The motif of the pelican piercing its breast to feed its young with its blood became the symbol of Christ's self-sacrifice on the cross and also of the Resurrection, because according to legend it pressed its young to death out of love and then brought it back to life with its own blood.

What is shown here on the gable stone is not so much an animal as a symbol, which can also be found in the Red Cross blood donation.

Although mentioned in the Grote Staat in 1748, the pelican was not mentioned in Victor de Stuers' list of 1867, nor in Alexander Simays' photo book (1912).

But in 1956 and 1964 P. Florax and H. Jongen mentioned the stone. Address: the rear facade of Grote Staat 41-43.

When Charles Bury from Liege made an inventory of the Maastricht Gable stones in 1975, he mentioned the Pelican and wrote: Grote Staat 41 'a la facade intérieure', meaning a facade inside the shop of Maison Louis. It is not clear whether this meant that the stone was still in the rear facade.

During one of the multi-step transformations of Grote Staat 39-41-43 into one large Maison-Louis shop, the stone was moved again to the front of no. 41, where it is now.

However, old archive documents have shown that the pelican did not originally come from Grote Staat 41. This can be deduced from an entry from 1585: "Valenus Belvoets van Lutzenborch procl. over house in St. Jorisstraat opposite St George's church, reign., with on the one side towards Denghuys the brewers' house and on the other side  towards Vrijthof Jan Boegemekers court called "The Pelican".

And in 1648: "House in St. Jorisstraat opposite Spilstraat called "Paradise" belonging to Hendrik Verspauwen, reign., with on the one side the brewers' house called "The green shield" and on the other side "The Pelican".

So standing in front of the house In Paradise (no. 37) was in the direction of the Dinghuis the leube (=meeting place) of the brewers' craft (no. 35) and to the right of the Paradise towards the Vrijthof the Pelican (no. 39). The fact that the stone ended up at no. 41 is probably due to a lack of space in the facade of no. 39 during the renovation.

The former premises of Maison Louis, Grote Staat 37-39-41-43

Over the years Maison Louis expanded from Grote Staat 43 to 41 to 39 and finally no. 37.

Cafe In Paradise had been located at no. 37 since 1922, and its name was depicted in the stained glass above the front door.

Before that, it was Henrar's fabric and clothing shop, which also bore the name In Paradise, which was also visible in a particularly finely carved oak sign of Adam and Eve.

This wooden sign of about 1780 was attached to the house, which was traditionally (mentioned as such as early as 1661) called The Paradise. But with a wink to the state of nakedness in which Adam and Eve are depicted,at the time better known in Maastricht as 'de bloete koont'. (bare bottom)  

It is not known who commissioned the statue at the end of the 18th century. In 1785 merchant Christiaan van Cauberg bought the house, known as Het Paradijs, from the heirs of Widow Collard, and in 1807 one Hustings was the owner of the property, while in 1812 Jacques Henrar from Herve lived there with his family. He was a 'marchand de draps'.

After his death in 1832 his son Auguste ran the business as a "merchant in sheets".

The latter died in 1848 at the age of 35 and his (second) wife Maria Houtappel continued 'le magasin' as a 'warehouse of cloth, buckskin, etc.', as one could read on the facade. They sold, for instance, woolen fabrics and soft suede deerskin  for making clothes.

Its name in combination with the old house name was used as the company name until its closure in 1922.

Grote Staat 37 around 1900
Address book advertisement 1900

In the archive photo, the sign can no longer be seen and it must have been moved inside the shop by then. This was almost certainly the result of an alteration to the lower facade in which the layout of the openings in the facade was changed, leaving insufficient space above the door for the sign. A new inscription could then be read in that place:
Wwe Henrar-Houtappel

In 1922 the fabric and clothing business was discontinued and the premises sold to 'NV Ruttens Bierbrouwerij De Zwarte Ruiter', which at the time was on the verge of being taken over by Heineken, and converted into a pub where A. Corsius became publican.

The construction drawing of that year shows that the lower facade was completely renewed with large sash windows and the house name prolonged.
It is noteworthy that the architect also projected Adam and Eve - summarily drawn - in the fan light of the new front door, with a couple of wild animals in the windows next to them.
This was also done, as can be seen in a later photograph, but then in stained glass from Glasatelier Paulus Blom in Rotterdam.

It is currently in private hands.

Construction drawing 1922
Cafe-restaurant In paradise around 1960.

When they moved house in 1922, the Henrars took the original wooden sign with them to Grote Looiersstraat 8, where it was kept inside a glass frame for many years.

By inheritance the work of art was allocated to one of the children, P. Henrar from Erp, who was married to the widow F. Cliteur-Konings, and via her it finally came to her son Ben Cliteur from Oss, where it is still in the family.

The exceptionally good condition of the statue, the carved window-like vista, and possibly also the place where the architect placed the new paradise on his drawing, strengthens the suspicion that the old sign originally sat above the door behind glass.
Is the glass frame in the old photograph perhaps the complete old skylight?

the 2008 signpost

A contemporary painting by Jasmijn Fischer - studio Ut Glaashoes.

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