What is written is not easy to make out. It looks like "La Montague" "La Monteque" - or something like that.
On page 409 of my paperback copy of Holy Blood, Holy Grail it states:
There are at least a dozen families in Britain and Europe today -- with numerous collateral branches -- who are of Merovingian lineage. These include the houses of....Montesquiou....
I realize the name does not match exactly. But I'm not even sure exactly what name the artist was trying to paint. The script is unusual. I will try to get a close-up photo with my digital camera.
UPDATE: Thanks for responding, "Anonymous".
"Am I sure I cannot find another one like it?"
Yes, I'm positive I cannot find another one like it. But I know I'm not an expert on decorative plates, or art of any kind for that matter. I've contacted several experts and one appraiser, all of whom were useless. Montereau and Creil is a famous French plate company. Barluet and Company made plates for Montereau and Creil from 1876-1884. If anyone, I ask again, can find a plate or painting like it please tell me. I've done hundreds of Google searches. Maybe there is a French person living in Montereau or Creil who could do some specialized research. But I'm in Florida.
"Where is the heresy?"
Monks are not supposed to mix with women at all. Notice the plate does not depict a priest but a monk. Monks do not take confessions. Monks are regular clergy. They are supposed to remain cloistered away from the outside world.
When joining a monastery, a person must take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. This means that the aspirant must surrender all worldly goods and never own personal property, must abstain from any sexual activity; and must obey the head of the house and the rules that regulate the community.
Look at the monk's curled toes. That suggests "sexual activity". France was particularly draconian when it came to prosecuting heresy, from the Albigensian Crusade, the persecution of the Templars, until the early 20th Century.
REMINDER: This plate is EXACTLY 13" wide. In decorative plates, from what I've seen, "Wendy's" notwithstanding, that's unusual. This is a great summary of the number thirteen superstition.
Here's a quick rundown on how the day got a bad rap.
The number 13 has been linked to the fact there were 13 people at the last supper of Jesus Christ, who was crucified on Good Friday. It's also been linked to the lunisolar calendar which has 13 months in some years. However, others say it goes back to medieval times. On Friday, Oct. 13, 1307, France's King Philip IV had the Knights Templar rounded up for torture and execution.
13 is the sixth-smallest prime number, the next is 17. It is the seventh Fibonacci number. Also, 13 goes into 999,999 exactly 76,923 times, so fractions with 13 in the denominator have six-digit repeating sequences in their decimal expansions.
Am I a nutty conspiracy theorist? No. But on this topic, all the so-called experts are.
11, 13 and 33
The Illuminati / Freemason Signature
The plate is 13", marked with a 33, shows a rose line and vessel which looks like many pictures of the Holy Grail, depicts a monk with a woman, and was made in France around the time of Sauniere.
You be the judge.
One last thing, it just so happens that one of the two Great Masonic Schisms, where the Grand Orient split off from the rest of Freemasonry over the issue of admitting athiests, happened in 1877.
Remember, Barluet and Company only made Montereau and Creil plates from 1876-1884.