Thursday 16 October 2014

The Slippers of Marie Antoinette

Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna (Vienna, Austria, 2nd November 1755 - Paris, France, 16th October 1793)

On this day in 1793, Marie Antoinette went to her death. Last year I wrote of the last day in the life of this most iconic of French queens but today, I thought I would mark the occasion with a somewhat more pastoral post. Indeed, the topic of my blog today is nothing more lofty than Marie Antoinette's shoes!

Having trod the floors of Versailles and no doubt accompanied some quite wonderful gowns, these delicate silk shoes in a suitably dainty green and pink hue saw the light of day once more on 16th October 2012, at the Paris Drouot auction house. 

Marie Antoinette's shoes

Unsurprisingly, the shoes generated enormous interest and the auctioneer put an expected price on them of around €10,000 ($12,600 or £7,800). As is so often the case, this proved wildly inaccurate and instead the heeled footwear sold for a whopping 50,000 ($63,300 or £39,300) to an unidentified bidder.

The shoes had been given as a gift to a servant, Alexandre-Bernard Ju-Des-Retz in 1775. He passed them along to his family and they continued to be handed down the line until they were eventually put on sale, along with a certificate of authenticity guaranteeing that the ill-fated queen had indeed sported these dainty little shoes during her tumultuous life!

If only these slippers could talk, who knows what a tale they might tell!

Life in the Georgian Court, true tales of 18th century royalty, is available at the links below.

Pen and Sword
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)


DL NELSON said...

Does anyone know her show size?

Catherine Curzon said...

The shoes are a British size 3.5-4, so very wee!

Collette Cameron said...

Tiny feet! My mother and my sister wear a 5.

Catherine Curzon said...

I do have a friend who is a 3 and her feet are minuscule!

Unknown said...

Beauty !!!! <3

Catherine Curzon said...