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Ref  LD6   Marie Antoinette

A modest little portrait miniature brooch, circa 1792, depicting Marie Antionette, last Queen of France [1755 - 1793]. The portrait is not flattering. La Reine is not depicted as a youthful beauty but as a mature woman facing imprisonment and the prospect of the guillotine. During the French Revolution Marie was known as 'Madame Deficit' becuse of her lavish spending. Much of the blame for the financial hardships of the monarchy was placed on the queen. She was an easy target, she was foreign and well known for throwing lavish parties and spending copious amounts of money on her wardrobe and jewels. Here La Reine is portrayed in a simple white robe with pink shawl, her hair tied up with a white ribbon.

The portrait came with a 19th century scrap of paper which translates from the French : Small brooch mounted in a necklace [presumably meaning to be worn on a velvet ribbon] representing the Queen Marie Antoinette, given by her to my great grandmother Varengére, Lady of Piennes.

The Marquise de Piennes was a French noblewoman, Angélique Marie Christophe Louise de Piennes, born 1746. Her husband was Marquis de Piennes of La Varengére. Her grandmother, when Marquise de Piennes, had been a mistress of King Louis XIV. I believe that this was a personal gift from the Queen to a noblewoman prior to her imprisonment, a simple, modest token as a reminder of La Reine. The brooch measures one inch by 3/4 of an inch. History in my hand.

sold

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Portrait de Marie-Antoinette -
1791 print of La Reine

07-510773
Pendant depicting Marie Antoinette by Piat Joseph Sauvage, 1792.

[Thank you Patrick at www.pbcfineart.co.uk for translating the French.]

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