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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
198   Marie Antoinette  $1000 Unopened $1000 0 You must login to place a bid.

#198 - Marie Antoinette

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Marie Antoinette’s extravagant wardrobe—a symbol of the French Revolution
Description  

Fabled queen of Louis XVI of France (1755–1793) whose public execution, along with that of her husband, was the most grisly, visible, and powerful symbol of the political aims of the French Revolution. LS in French, one page, 9.5 x 14.5, September 20, 1789. Letter to Administrator of the Royal Treasury Marc Antoine Francois Marie Rendon de la Tour, responsible for the expenditure of the household, ordering him to [translated] “pay in cash to our two valets of the wardrobe the sum of seven hundred and thirty two livres, which we granted them as an additional food payment, in consideration of their service during the year.” Signed at the conclusion by Marie Antoinette and countersigned by Pierre Jean Baptiste Beauregard. In very good condition, with central vertical and horizontal folds, foxing and soiling to edges, and a few small stains (nothing affecting the crisp, bold signature).

Employed exclusively to manage Marie Antoinette’s wardrobe were a secretary who oversaw finances, two women charged with care and preservation of dresses, two women to fold and press clothes as necessary, two valets, and a porter. One duty of the valets was to present the queen with a large book of patterns and fabric samples that detailed all articles of clothing at her disposal, allowing her to choose what to wear that day. Marie Antoinette’s wardrobe was a chief symbol of the class divide that erupted into the French Revolution—in fact, when the royal family was imprisoned in 1792, a mob invaded Tuileries Palace and made straight for her wardrobe, tearing to shreds the clothes that they did not steal. Similar actions took place at Versailles, where they smashed all mirrors in the queen’s dressing room. An exceptional document in its relationship to Marie Antoinette’s notoriously extravagant lifestyle. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA.

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