Marie-Antoinette’s memorabilia: the auction results

Marie Antoinette Dress fragment

Marie Antoinette memorabilia dress fragment

The bidding was brisk, with much international interest, and the prices went far higher than estimated by Christie. The silk purse embroidered by Marie-Antoinette at the Temple sold for more than $133,000! This dress fragment, puce-colored, fetched $76,000.

Indeed it is Louis XVI, with his wry sense of humor, who coined the term puce (which means “flea” in French) to describe the color of some of Marie-Antoinette’s dresses.

That was years before the French Revolution, but she obviously loved that shade of light brown: she still wore it while jailed at the Temple.

To go back to the Christie’s auction, Chantal d’Orléans, daughter of the late Comte and Comtesse de Paris, was interviewed. “It wasn’t possible to divide all this,” she said. “These memorabilia should be in museums, they are for collectors.” One of her nephews stated that he was “sad to see all of this gone, but happy that it is selling well.”


8 Comments to “Marie-Antoinette’s memorabilia: the auction results”

  1. I’d never thought to visit Christie’s The next big show is in Feb ’09 -Collection Yves Saint Laurent et Pierre Bergé That will be a blast to see!

  2. Catherine Delors says:

    Well, last time I tried to attend an auction in Paris (and, mind you, it was nowhere as high profile as this one) there was a two-hour wait at the door. Sadly, I gave up…

  3. Ingrid Mida says:

    Catherine, Thanks again for linking me to your delightful blog. I have just posted more photos of Marie Antoinette’s magnificent dress.

  4. Catherine Delors says:

    Gorgeous pictures, Ingrid! See my comments under your post. I agree with you about the bodice.

  5. Lauren says:

    Thanks for posting on the auction and results! I thought the estimates were low – but those items seem so priceless to me!

  6. Catherine Delors says:

    Indeed. Lauren, Christie’s undervalued the whole estate (it brought in more than double the estimate of 1 million Euros) but this is more particularly true of the Marie-Antoinette/Louis XVI memorabilia. Under French law, the sale should be final today, and we should know more about the eventual owners of these objects.

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  8. Felio Vasa says:

    Super fabulous post. Can you imagine if all that was destroyed due to the Revolution was still around- not only clothing but even like the letters & documents that were burnt do to fear of association & implication.