The Mansart Foundation acquires a photograph of the sixth Duke of Ayen as a child

11 January 2023

Born on September 18, 1893, Jean Maurice Paul Jules de Noailles was the only son of the Duke and Duchess of Noailles, who owned the Maintenon Castle. This photograph depicts him as a child. The caption specifies that "the pony Alice was 97 centimeters tall."

An accomplished athlete, Jean de Noailles, also known as "Jean d'Ayen," was a world champion and multiple-time French champion in pigeon shooting. During World War II, the Duke of Ayen became involved in the Resistance at an early stage. Unfortunately, he was arrested by the Gestapo on January 22, 1942, in Paris, following an anonymous denunciation. He was tortured and interned on Avenue Foch, and later in Compiègne. He was subsequently deported to the infamous camps of Buchenwald-Flossenburg, Oranienburg, and finally Bergen-Belsen, where he died, exhausted and ill, just a few days before the end of the war. His remains were never found.