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April 02, 2009

How Rich am I These Days?

No matter how rich you may have been, you could never truly live like a queen. There was no doubt that the French court was built on etiquette and duty; responsibilities to the person whose rank was above you made your rank what it was. This hierarchy among the court also lent itself by way of ....furniture!

The furniture that was made for Louis & Antoinette was of the highest grade, we are talking top of the line, not overly gilt and gaudy but crafted by the best and most respected makers. As could be imagined the pieces built for the royal children were also ridiculously splendid! They were, however, not of the same quality reserved for mom and dad. Even if this difference was slight, it was a difference.

Now we are led to our favorite occupants of the court, the comtesses, dukes and madame de's! They all had different amounts in their bank accounts, but what they could afford was not the only factor keeping them from living like kings. They could not own pieces of the quality which was reserved for the king & queen nor their children. They could try but they would not get the same stuff. They were a step below and there was a glass roof above! The system was based on the persons station (a comtesse would have a nicer secretaire than a madame de) but it was also based on the château to which the ordered pieces were to be sent!

Basically, if you lived in Versailles, you had it made. You would receive very fine quality pieces, and put all your 'suburban friends'...rather - 'urban friends' to shame. If your sister lived at Versailles and you resided at Fontainebleau, you could count on the fact that her decor would be far superior, and more luxurious. But fear not, because your annoying cousin who married the comte you had a crush on, was residing in the château la Muette, and her items were even less quality than yours!

5 comments

  1. I love that you used a picture of Jennifer Saunders from Let Them Eat Cake. That is such a hilarious show.

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  2. Another wonderful read! I learned something new I didn't know! We seldom think about the furniture and the status it held.. like we do the clothes and titles! Thanks for sharing and educating me~

    xoxox
    Joanna

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  3. Yes! Jennifer Saunders cracks me up, even when I look at images from the show I cannot help but smile!

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  4. It's GILT not Guilt.

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  5. @anonymous - Thanks, good catch!

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