Marie-Antoinette’s Wedding

Marie Antoinette marriage

Louis and Marie Antoinette wedding

Another great post by Elena Maria at Tea at Trianon on the ceremony and festivities:

On May 16, 1770 the Dauphin Louis-Auguste of France married Marie-Antoinette Archduchess of Austria… (more)

And, as promised, I will post shortly on other Versailles royal weddings. See also my prior post on 18th century bridal attire.

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19 Comments to “Marie-Antoinette’s Wedding”

  1. Interesting read. Weddings were sure something else back then.


  2. wedding gown preservation says:

    woow hey how got this pic. i am speechless for this pics.

  3. Weddings were such understated affairs in those days, I am surprised that Sotheby’s ever took an interest.

  4. Miss meldon says:

    Great picture ammazzzing.

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  5. Kate Simon says:

    Lovely pictures, awesome these are looking so professional and artistic.

    Kate Simon

    Wedding Gown Preservation

  6. Azam ali says:

    That is really amazing and artistic picture.
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  7. Wedding Dress Preservation says:

    i liked the picture, excellent!

  8. Online Dater says:

    Cool! It’s nice to see a royal wedding photo like these. Their style were really different, it was so elegant. Hopefully, I can attend a real royal wedding someday to see in my naked eyes how sophisticated it is.

  9. Catherine Delors says:

    Oh you are most welcome, Kristin! This is a fascinating story, and I would love to learn of the outcome (a part of me is trying to keep a critical eye, and another part wants this dress to be authentic…)

  10. Kristin Ellis says:

    Thank you for your comments and links to various sites.

    I find the whole thing somewhat unlikely, but am in touch with the ROM and hope to show it to them soon.

    I am also attempting contact with Sotheby’s to direct it to an European office.

    You have been most helpful and I shall keep you posted should we uncover more.


  11. Catherine Delors says:

    Kristin – Some parts of the story may well be true. The fact that the dress was made in France for instance. European royalty purchased court costumes in France. See my post on the subject:

    The fact that is was made in a convent? Highly unlikely. Occupations (weavers, embroiderers, etc.) were striclty regulated in France before the Revolution, and a court dress would have been made by highly skilled workers belonging to special guilds, not nuns.

    The fact that Maria Theresa would have presented the dress to one of the Court ladies? Quite possible, and even standard for last year’s dresses.

    The fact that Maria Theresa would have worn the dress to the marriage of Marie-Antoinette to the Dauphin? That could only have been the marriage by proxy, as I wrote above, not the Versailles marriage, but again quite possible.

    The fact that the dress was on loan to a major museum is of course an indication that it is authentic. Careful, though, the fact that it is authentic does not mean that the whole story about it is true. See for instance the “Marie-Antoinette” dress in my court costume post. If the fabric is gold cloth, not simply gold-colored satin, this is a very strong indication that it is a royal garment.

    Why don’t you try to contact the ROM to learn more? This type of artifact needs to be professionally cared for, and appraised. Maybe even the ROM or some other museum would be interested in purchasing it. Careful, though, if and when you negotiate the price. Look at the prices fetched recently at auction by Marie-Antoinette souvenirs:

    In any case, congratulations on your ownership of what may well be a unique artifact!


  12. Kristin says:

    Hello Catherine,

    I am the friend Lorraine refers to above – the one with the gold satin dress from my fathers estate. Along with the dress was a folder with many letters and notes from my father about various museums he contacted regarding the dress. He was doing this prior to the internet and email so it was slow going. I do see the dress was on loan at the Toronto R.O.M. in the 80’s and the receipt states Austrian Court Dress so perhaps the next details are true.

    One letter (I think written around 1910) says the following,

    “The dress was embroidered in a convent in France for the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (how can that be true?!) on gold coloured satin, the flowers in natural colour and two patterns of lace in white silk worked in. The Empress wore it at the marriage of her daughter with the Dauphin of France, then it passed to one of the Court ladies, who gave it to the countess of Lockhart (a cousin of the authors grandmother) AGAIN Unbelievable. She gave it Miss Helen Scott who married in Mr. David Burn of Beaver Hall, Edinburg, they had two sons, the eldest married Miss Mary Field of England in 1830.

    With so many David and Mary Burns it is confusing but I believe this goes back 6 generations and I can see how it reached my great, great grandfather who married a Burn. I have both a Mary Burn and Helen Scott portrait so that much is true.

    At the very least it is a fascinating letter that I thought you would find interesting. Lorraine & I are determined to get to the bottom of this story!


  13. Catherine Delors says:

    How interesting, Lorraine! Marie-Antoinette’s wedding was twofold: there was the mariage par procuration (marriage by proxy) in Vienna, between the young Archduchess and the French envoy, and later the marriage itself, with the Dauphin, in the Royal Chapel of Versailles. It is well attested that Maria Theresa did not attend the latter (as I wrote in another post, it was exceptional for royalty to travel.) However Maria Theresa probably attended the mariage par procuration.

    If this family heirloom is authentic, it is extremely valuable, both in historical and monetary terms, because so few 18th century court gowns have survived to this day. Stay tuned, because tomorrow I will post on 18th century court dress, based upon the recent exhibition at Versailles. In this fashion you will be able to compare your friend’s dress to authentic artifacts. I advise your friend to consult an expert, for instance at a reputable auction house, to validate the story. Again if the gown is authentic, it is very valuable, and should be properly insured and preserved.

    I would love to hear more!

  14. Lorraine Holt says:

    Hello! I stumbled upon this website when researching Marie Antoinette’s wedding. So interesting! A family friend has a dress that was passed down through the generations that was apparently worn my Maria Theresa at Marie Antoinette’s wedding. Do you happen to know if she was in fact at her daughter’s wedding? Some sources say she wasn’t. Does anyone know of anyone who might be interested in and might be able to validate the story of the dress? Thanks so much!! Lorraine

  15. Westerlund says:

    Marie Antoinette 1755-1793 Pedigree
    House of Oldenburg
    2.John (Hans) OLDENBURG (King) of DENMARK & Christina (of SAXONY) WEITTIN
    3.Christian II (King) of DENMARK & Isabella (von OSTERREICH) HABSBURG
    4.Christine OLDENBURG (Princess) of DENMARK & Franz I (Duke) of LORRAINE
    5.Karl II von LOTHRINGEN & Claudia de FRANCE
    6.Heinrich I von LOTHRINGEN & Margherita GONZAGA
    7.Claudia von LOTHRINGEN & Nikolaus II Franz (Duke) von LOTHRINGEN
    8.Karl V Leopold von LOTHRINGEN & Eleonore Maria Josefa von OSTERREICH
    9.Leopold (I) Josef (Duke) de LORRAINE & Elisabeth-Charlotte d’ ORLEANS
    10.Francis I Stephen of LORRAINE & Marie-Theresa HABSBURG of AUSTRIA
    11.Marie Antoinette (of AUSTRIA) & Louis XVI BOURBON (King) of FRANCE
    12. Louis XVII of France 1785-1795

  16. Catherine Delors says:

    Thank you, Samantha!
    I do index my pictures and, if you view this blog with Explorer, you will be able, when scrolling above an image, to see the legend (title and author when known.) Why this functionality is not available in Firefox is unfortunately not within my control. I will see if I have enough space left to include the collection in the tag line.

  17. Samantha Ferris says:

    Really love this blog, is such a great complement to my 18th century studies at the moment. Would it possible to attach details to the wonderful artworks you put up? would be really helpful to know which collections they belong to and the artist.
    Many thanks, Samantha

  18. Catherine Delors says:

    Thank you, Elena! And you will certainly be on my advance copy list once we get there.

  19. Thank you for the link, Catherine! I’m looking forward to reading your new novel!

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