Saturday, 30 September 2017

Court Artefacts; Toilette Item

Although personal hygiene was not the same as it is today the toilette was nonetheless vital; it became a status symbol and a ceremony in itself.

Washing bowl belonging to Françoise-Marie de Blois, Duchesse d'Orléans, 1717-1722

razor used by Louis XVI in the Temple Prison

Razor used by Louis XVI while imprisoned in the Temple

Crystal ewer and basin belonging to Marie Antoinette. The little golden dog on the lid opens the ewer - one must place a thumb in its mouth for the water to flow out!

Court Artefacts: Clothing, Shoes & Fabrics

The extravagant fashions of the ancient regime is one of the first things that comes to mind when one thinks of Versailles. Sadly, the majority of the royal family's lavish wardrobes were destroyed during the turbulent days of the revolution. Consequently, only a few articles survive but those that do still gives us an impression of the fashions and craftsmanship of the time. Since the category would otherwise be rather short I have chosen to include artefacts of courtiers as well. 

Note: this page does not concern itself with entire ensembles since these are to be found in the Fashion-section.

Bodice said to have belonged to Marie Antoinette. Note that this is not a whalebone corset which means that it would have been used for less official ceremonies.

Ribbon owned by Madame Adélaide who used it as a belt 

Silk waistcoat with floral embroideries which belonged to the Marquis de Beauharnais 

Chemise worn by the young Louis Charles - son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. For those wondering why it looks so similar to a woman's chemise there is an explanation for that. Until the age of seven boys and girls wore the same chemise-style.

Fragment of the coat Louis XVI wore on the day of his execution, framed with an engraving of the King in prison writing his last will and testament.

Fragment of the coat worn by Louis XVI on the day of his execution, 1793 (sold at auction by 

The shirt that Louis XVI changed out of on the morning of his execution, 21 January 1793, kept by the family of the King's valet de chambre Clery (along with a pair of the King's pants), until 1882.

The shirt (lot number 186) was the one which Louis XVI slept in on the night before his execution. He changed into another one and left this one behind at the Temple where it was passed on to his valet, Cléry.

A piece of a dress worn by Marie Antoinette at the Temple prison. This fragment sold at Christie’s for $76, 184.

Fragment of a dress worn by Marie Antoinette while she was imprisoned at the Temple. It was sold at auction by Sothesby.

Lace worn by Madame Elisabeth, the sister of Louis XVI. It was given to the Bishop Dupanloup in the 19th century by the only surviving child of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the duchesse d’Angouleme.          http://​​02/bishops-alb.html

Lace worn by Madame Élisabeth during the last years of her life. It was later given to Marie-Thérèse, Duchesse d'Angoulême (Madame Royale) by Bishop Dupanloue

Let them eat cake! Marie-Antoinette's slippers sell for €50,000

Silk shoes belonging to Marie Antoinette which sold for 65.600 USD

Marie Antoinette's slippers, 1790-93, labelled "Worn by Maria Antonietta, late Queen of France at the time She was taken to Paris", The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Another pair of shoes belonging to the doomed Marie Antoinette. It was labelled as having belonged to the queen at the time when she was taken to Paris in 1789

Handkerchief with Marie Antoinette's coat-of-arms embroidered on it.

Court Artefacts: Gambling Items

Gambling remained one of the foremost pleasures of court life throughout the reigns of Louis XIV to Louis XVI. Everyone participated - even the religious Marie-Thérèse and the pious Marie Leszczynska found the pastime a great amusement. With gambling parties being a regular fixture of court life it is hardly surprising that the royal family had their personal gambling items.

Gambling purse of Marie Leszczynska bearing her coat of arms as queen. This would have been used to carry jetons with at gambling sessions. It is of red velvet and embroidered with golden thread, 1740.

This gambling purse is quite similar to that of Marie Leszczynska. They belonged to Madame Henriette (her daughter)

Silver jetons of Marie Antoinette

Belonged to Louis-Joseph-Xavier de France, Duc de Bourgogne

Jeton belonging to Marie-Josèphe of Saxony, 1720

A neatly preserved set with a table bearing the crest of Marie Antoinette as Dauphine

From the household of the Comte de Provence

And another one, this time the household of his brother, the Comte d'Artois

As can be seen this jeton was intended for the very popular game of lansquenet at Choisy, 1745

Court Artefacts

Baroque and rococo were the dominating styles of the Versailles-era. Both are characteristic by their sheer opulence and extravagance which is clearly seen in the objects left behind.

I have been trying out a few different ways to display the court artefacts of Versailles and has decided to go with this one. Rather than dividing the objects by owner they are now divided by category. Just click the category you would like to see and you will be taken to a page dedicated to that particular type.

Boxes & Chests


Clocks & Watches




Friday, 29 September 2017

Mesdames Tantes' Ladies

The daughters of Louis XV were numerous and each had their own households. As is rather obvious Madame Adélaide was the favourite daughter of Louis XV - consequently, the ladies appointed to her service were numerous.

Adélaide-Élisabeth d'Hallencourt de Dromesnil, Marquise de Belzunce
1763-70: Companion to Madame Adélaide
Married to Louis-Antonin, Marquis de Belzunce

Catherine-Madeleine Pécoil de La Villedieu, Duchesse de Brissac
1745-52: Companion to Madame Henriette and Adélaide
1752-70: Companion to Madame Adélaide

Married Charles-Timoléon-Louis de Brissac, Duc de Brissac
Her marriage caused some raised eyebrows since Catherine-Madeleine was not an aristocrat; she was a very wealthy heiress to a merchant from Rouen. The Duc de Saint-Simon was quick to remark that the Ducs of Brissac had never been too proud to marry beneath them.

Charlotte Alexandrine Sublet d'Hallencourt de Dromesnil, Comtesse de Belzunce
1746-52: Companion to the Madame Henriette and Adélaide
1752-63: Companion to Madame Adélaide
1770-1774: Same as before

Married to Antonin-Armand de Belzunce, Comte de Belzunce

Billedresultat for Marquise de Belzunce
Charlotte Alexandrine

Charlotte Rosalie de Romanet, Duchesse de Choiseul-Beaupré
1751-52: Companion to Madame Henriette and Adélaide
1752-53: Companion to Madame Adélaide

Married at Bellevue to François-Martial de Choiseul - is believed to have been a mistress to Louis XV for a short while.
She was presented at court a fortnight after her marriage but she died just two years later.

Billedresultat for Charlotte Rosalie de Romanet
Duchesse de Choiseul-Beaupré

Élisabeth-Louise de Boullongne, Marquise d'Hôpital
1739-55: Companion to the eldest Mesdames
1752-67: Companion to Madame Adélaide

Married to Paul-François de Galluccio de l'Hôpital, who served as ambassador to Naples. Her daughter, the Marquise de Lostanges, also served Madame Adélaide.

Louise-Diane-Françoise de Clermont-Gallerande, Duchesse de Brancas
1746-50: Companion to Madame Henriette and Madame Adélaide

Married to (I) Georges-Jacques de Clermont, Marquis de Clermont-Saint-Aignan, (II) Louis de Brancas, Duc de Brancas (his title was Duc de Villars at the time of their marriage). She was later transferred to the household of Dauphine Marie-Josèphe
Billedresultat for Louise-Diane-Françoise de Clermont-Gallerande
Duchesse de Brancas

Louise-Marie-Emmanuelle de Tourzel d'Alègre, Marquise de Maillebois
1751-52: Companion to Mesdames
1752-56: Companion to Madame Adélaide

Married to Jean-Baptiste-François Desmarets, Marquis de Maillebois.
She became a Grandee of Spain through her husband in 1745

Marie-Françoise de Pardaillain de Gondrin, Marquise de Civrac
1747-52: Companion to the eldest Mesdames
1752-55: Companion to Madame Adélaide
1755-64: Dame d'atours to Madame Adélaide

Marie-Françoise de Talleyrand, Comtesse de Périgord
Companion to the younger Mesdames

Marie-Francoise-Catherine de Beauvau-Craon, Marquise de Boufflers
1750-60: Companion to the younger Mesdames

Marie-Henriette de Polastron, Comtesse d'Andlau
1739-46: Companion to the Mesdames Henriette and Adelaide

In 1746 she was exiled to Auxerre which would end her court career

Marie Henriette de Polastron, Comtesse d'Andlau, in the household of Mesdames and exiled for showing the princesses a smutty book
Comtesse d'Andlau

Marie-Louise-Angelique de Talaru de Chalmazel, Marquise de Castries
1746-52: Companion to the eldest Mesdames
1752-83: Companion to Madame Adélaide

Wife of Armand François de La Croix de Castries

Marie-Magdeleine-Charlotte de Béon de Massés de Cazaux, Comtesse de Béon
1782-89: Companion to Madame Adélaide

Married to François-Fréderic de Béon. She was formally presented to the king in 1780.

Billedresultat for Marie-Magdeleine-Charlotte de Béon de Massés de Cazaux
Comtesse de Béon

Marie-Suzanne-Françoise de Creil, Duchesse de Beauvilliers
1744-50: Companion to the eldest Mesdames
1750-52: Dame d'honneur to the eldest Mesdames
1752-80: Dame d'honneur to Madame Adélaide

Married to Paul-François de Beauvilliers

Marie-Thérèse-Josèphe-Corinthe de Névet, Comtesse de Coigny
1750-55: Companion to the younger Mesdames
1775-76: Companion to Madame Victoire

Billedresultat for Comtesse de Coigny

Portrait Gallery: Louis Ferdinand de Bourbon

By Nivelon Anne Baptiste
By Jean Marc Nattier
By Aubert
By Jean Daullé
By Alexandre Roslin
By Maurice Quentin de La
1760 by Jean-Martial Frédou
As an infant on his mother's lap
By Louis Tocque
After Nattier
1760 by Carmontelle
By Louis Tocque
Around 1749 by Jean-Etienne
As a child in Polish costume
By Aubert
Posthumous (1771) 
By Jean-Marc Nattier
By Louis Michel van Loo