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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Relics: Marie Antoinette's hair

In my search for objects associated with Marie Antoinette I've found a number of items of jewellery reputedly containing locks of her hair.
This particular locket is in the British Museum. The back of the locket reads:
A lock of hair of MARIE ANTOINETTE, Queen of FRANCE given by her to Lady Abercorn by whom it was given to her sister Lady Julia Lockwood, whose daughter Lady Napier gave it to W.S. 1853.
The museum website notes: "If this blonde lock of hair is indeed that of Marie Antoinette it must have been presented  before the abortive flight to Varennes in 1791, when the King and Queen tried to escape from France.  Marie Antoinette's hair went white overnight, and on her return to Paris she presented a ring to the Princess de Lamballe containing a lock of her hair which was inscriber 'Blanchis par la douleur (whitened by sorrow: see Campan 1833).  The ring is now in the Musee Carnavalet, Paris."
Other items I've found include this ring containing Louis XVI's and Marie Antoinette's hair which was given to Madame de Tourzel, the Governess of the royal children.
I don't know how good the provenance is of these items but I like to think they are genuine. 

Here are the other photos I found. This locket is in the Musee Carnavalet along with the ring mentioned above.
I don't know where these other two items are located. If you can elaborate on any of the items I'd love to hear from you.  

1 comment:

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