Ref LR1 La Cravate du Roi
On the cold, foggy morning of January 21st, 1793, King Louis XVI's carriage journeyed through Paris from the Temple, the fortified medieval monastery where he and his family had been imprisoned, to the Place de la Révolution where his execution scaffold awaited. According to contemporary accounts, Louis tried to address the crowd and declared, I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France. The sound of the drums silenced Louis's speech and he was guillotined without further ceremony.
This gold heart-shaped reliquary for the deceased king, circa 1793, is set to reverse with a fragment of fabric, also in the form of a heart, onto which are sewn strands of hair, set under crystal. The obverse tablet is inscribed in gold lettering : Morceau de la cravatte que portoit l'infortuné Louis XVI avant son départ du Temple le 21 Janvier 1793.
[A piece of the cravat worn by the unfortunate Louis XV1 before his departure from the Temple on January 21, 1793.]
The pendant measures 1 and 3/4 inches by 1.5 inches.
A cravat worn by Louis XVI during his imprisonment in the Temple was auctioned on the anniversary of his death in 2004 in Touraine. Keen interest and rival telephone bids escalated the final sale price to 70,000 euros. A reference in Cléry's Journal  identified the recipent of the cravat as having been a Monsieur Vincent, one of the rotating set of commissioners of the Paris Commune who were in attendance on the royal family during their imprisonment in the Temple.
The Commissioner, Vincent, a builder, who had rendered every service in his power to the Royal Family .... availed himself of the opportunity to ask His Majesty for something which he might keep as having belonged to him. The King untied his cravat, and made him a present of it.
A captivatingly romantic piece.
Louis XV1 at his final audience with his family in the Temple.
Louis on the execution scaffold.