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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More Marie Antoinette possessions

Yes more! 
Literaturevixen kindly sent me links to two items that belonged to Marie Antoinette I hadn't seen before. 
One is this lovely fabric remnant on the Museum of London site
It's a richly decorated piece of a petticoat from a formal court dress believed to have been made for Marie Antoinette. 
The site says that Monsieur Besnard, an employee of the French royal wardrobe, took it to England in anticipation of the Queen's escape. When Marie Antoinette was executed in 1793, the Besnard family cut up the garment and shared the pieces out as relics of the Queen. 
It dates from 1780 and is a silk satin ground with velvet applique panels, embellished with gilt-metal embroidery, foil backed pastes and metal sequins. 
I wish there were more closeups of this piece.  I find it interesting that small pieces seem to have been cut out of it - perhaps to make individual keepsakes of the Queen. 
The colouring and even the design reminds me of the dress in Canada reputed to have belonged to Marie Antoinette. 
Whether the Queen actually wore this dress I don't know.  

The other item is a bedcover believed to have belonged to the Queen which was subsequently purchased by Axel Fersen at auction after her death. 
You can see it here - it's the cream coloured bedcover on this tent bed. Again, it would be lovely if they'd had a clearer picture. If you can read Swedish, here is the article about it.  

Then I was fiddling about with the search terms I'd be using and it's amazing what changing the odd word or two can reveal.  Instead of searching for Marie Antoinette's 'possessions', I tried 'belongings' and here's what I found.

Beautifully stamped with her royal crest is a lovely little travelling perfume flask - I've seen similar designs on leather book covers. I wonder if this little flask went with her on that sadly fateful journey to Varenne.
Then there are some more lovely items from the Musee Carnavalet.  This fan looks gorgeous - I wish we could see the design more clearly. 

Indispensable for any lady, this nécessaire oétui (little sewing kit) was beautifully cased in green enamel with gold edging. There is also what looks like a separate but matching scissor case.

And a better photo of those shoes I mentioned in a previous post. I don't think they look particularly comfortable, do you?  Then again that might be the angle of the photo.

If you know of any other MA items I haven't blogged about please drop me a comment with a link and I'll post about it.


  1. Hello, my name is Julia and for my gifted and talented class, my group and I are researching Marie Antoinette for National History Day. We are researching the points of view of the people involved: the peasants, Marie and Louis XVI, and other high class people. We were wondering whether you have any information on the how different types of people reacted to the execution of Marie and Louis or whether or not they supported Marie Antoinette. We would love to receive any information on Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Email via:


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