Gustave Navlet sculptures in the chalk cellars of Epernay Champagne House Mercier.
Gustav Navlet was the hand behind the sculptural decorations on the famous, 200,000-bottle barrel — a masterpiece of barrel-making that largely overshadowed the other entries at the Exposition Universelle in 1889. Drawn by a team of oxen from Epernay to Paris, the barrel took eight days to complete its journey, cheered on by crowds of enthusiastic bystanders.
Some of Navelet’s relief sculpture along the walls of the "Galerie de Pékin" (Mercier chalk cellars) depict major towns in Champagne. Others are allegorical, representing work in the vineyard, harvesting, different stages in winemaking or simply wine itself.