Monday, 30 December 2013

Marie Antoinette's Petticoat

Fragment of court dress' petticoat: 1780
Marie Antoinette wore this fabric during her time at Versailles - it was used for a formal gown's petticoat. When the revolution broke out most members of the royal entourages remained loyal to the royal family and Monsieur Besnard was no exception. Monsieur Besnard was a part of the royal wardrobe and when he fled to England he was entrusted with one - most likely more - of the Queen's personal dresses. He was expected to keep the dresses for the Queen's arrival after the royal family's escape from Paris.

But when the escape attempt failed and Marie Antoinette was executed in 1793 Monsieur Besnard cut out the dress in pieces and gave it to some of the Queen's friends who had survived the revolution as a remembrance of their murdered friend. The dress is based on silk while the panels underneath are of velvet; both are embroidered with golden thread, colourful flowers and silver sequins. The gown was made in 1780.

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