10.10Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: 10.10

October 28, 2010

Quotables: Marie Antoinette on Empress Maria Theresa

"My mother sees things but from the distance, she does not weigh them in regard to my position; and she judges me too harshly. But she is my mother, who loves me dearly; and when she speaks, I can only bow my head."

Marie Antoinette, August 1775

October 26, 2010

Interior Decor: The 18th Century Athenienne

An 18th century athènienne sits in the corner of a room used for entertaining.
An 18th century athènienne sits in the corner of a room used for entertaining.
If you want to add some 18th century flair to any room, all you need is a pair of these!

Pair of tripod stands (athèniennes) After a design by Jean-Henri Eberts. 1773,
Pair of tripod stands (athèniennes) After a design by Jean-Henri Eberts. 1773, Carved and gilded pine; brass liners; gilt bronze. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A piece of furniture that became en vogue during the 18th century was the Athénienne, which came in pairs. The design was a French twist on a classical piece, which made its appearance in France around 1773. The designer, Jean-Henri Eberts, is said to have been inspired by the painting La Vertueuse Athénienne. Eberts owned the work at the time he came up with his design.

Joseph-Marie Vien (1716-1809), Une prêtresse brûle de l'encens sur un trépied, dite La Vertueuse Athénienne.
Joseph-Marie Vien (1716-1809), Une prêtresse brûle de l'encens sur un trépied, dite La Vertueuse Athénienne. Toile. H. 0,895 ; L. 0,670. 1762. Strasbourg, musée des Beaux-Arts.
The essential pedestal table is supported by a tripod base. You can have them in your living room or any room where you might entertain. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Madame du Barry was one of the first to own a set of Athénienne which she had at Louveciennes.

18th century table
I love Christies' description and uses of this versatile period piece:
The multi-purpose athénienne was intended for entertaining in the salon or boudoir and was accordingly fitted with casters and an ormolu-mounted patinated copper cassolette, silvered on the inside and containing a removable spirit lamp, above which was set a tin-plated double boiler, surmounted by a marble slab and a patinated copper cover.

A Pair of Louis XVI Style Atheniennes
A Pair of Louis XVI Style Atheniennes. Ordered by Lord Duveen through the Decorateur L. Alavoine circa 1932-34. Ormolu mounted giltwood. Christies.
Here are 8 ways to use the Athénienne:

  1. an ornament and focal point in the middle of a room 
  2. a table under a pier mirror , or in a corner, or as a pedestal to support a candelabrum or a piece of sculpture 
  3. a perfume burner 
  4. a heater for making coffee, tea, or chocolate 
  5. a goldfish bowl 
  6. a planter to grow bulbs in winter 
  7. a bowl for cut flowers 
  8. a device for keeping bouillon or other drinks warm. 

An all around must have piece, no?

October 22, 2010

Art du jour: A Quarrel Over Cards

 Chalon, Alfred Edward (1780-1860), A Quarrel Over Cards, Material brush drawing in brown and grey ink, with brown chalk, over graphite. British Museum.

"no form of gambling frauds are more numerous than those with cards. A thousand combinations are possible with them. Endless tricks can be played by the adroit and unscrupulous dealer of cards. Some are traditional, almost as old as the hills. Cards have been 'forced' with marvellous, incomprehensible skill: packs have been prepared and substituted with uncommon dexterity."

1899, Cassell.

May your weekend adventures have happier endings, and your gambling habit be honest!

October 20, 2010

Christian Louboutin + Marie Antoinette + Dita Von Teese

image source
Here we have Dita Von Teese channeling her inner 18th century persona, wearing a Vivienne Westwood dress, complete with the pannier look and snug bodice, in a light blue etoile pattern.  The look is completed with Christian Louboutin's amazing Marie Antoinette inspired shoes. 

October 18, 2010

Rococo en Fleurs Givaway Winner

Congratulations to our winner of the flower accessory, Julia Coenobita !!! Please contact me with your mailing details!

Thank you everyone who entered to win the flower by Rococo en Fleurs.  Be sure to visit Danielle's shop on Etsy to see the full range of her autumn blooms.  And thank you Danielle for offering this wonderful giveaway!

I have to say I loved all the ideas you guys had for wearing the flowers, if anyone does end up with one of these fab accessories do share pictures of how you are wearing it! I would love to see!

October 16, 2010

16 October 1793

"The corpse of the ill fated queen was immediately buried in a grave filled with quick-lime, in the church-yard, called De La Madelaine where her unfortunate consort, Louis XVI, had been before deposited and consumed in the same manner"

On the execution of Marie Antoinette, 16 October 1793

October 15, 2010

About Her: Princesse de Lamballe

"Mme. de Lamballe was extremely pretty, and though her figure was devoid of elegance, and she had hideous hands, which, by their size, contrasted strangely with the delicacy of her features, she was charming without regular beauty; her temper was gentle, obliging, equable and cheerful but she was absolutely devoid of wit; her vivacity, sprightliness, and childlike air very agreeably concealed her want of brains; she had never had an opinion of her own, but in conversation she always adopted the views of the person who was supposed to be the cleverest."
Mme de Genlis

October 13, 2010

The Ideal Gift for any Lady of Quality

Marie Antoinette set many fashion standards, as we all know so well, with the help of Rose Bertin.  The woman became a household name, her shop, Le Grand Mogol in Paris, infamous.  The façade was done up in marble and inside featured portraits of the royal queens of Europe and beyond (if they were clients of Mdm Bertin!) If you weren't convinced her shop was the place to be, the new gowns on display would have done the trick!

Two rooms of her shop held her designs, and customers could browse and choose what they liked.  She owned the upstairs of the shop, as well, where her employees worked.  She employed thrirty seamstresses who worked adding the flowers, ruffles, ribbons, lace and trim to all the custom orders that were received.

This dressmaker, if you will, was well known to dabble in haberdashery, and her hats were truly a big seller.  She designed hats for all occasions and had them displayed at her shop.  If you were in the market for a hat, you could visit her store and be shown up to thirty unique hats at once!

One reason the hats were so in demand was their affordable price.  Although they were still pricey, in comparison with a Bertin gown, it was quite manageable.  Fashionable women with smaller annual incomes would do just as well to have three Rose Bertin hats than one gown.

Her hats also became popular gifts for men to buy for ladies.  There was no sizing or worries about color.  At Mdm Bertin's shop, gentlemen could only be sold items that were at the height of fashion, so ladies could rest assured the gift would be perfect every time.

October 11, 2010

18th Century Inspired: Giveaway!

Let's kick off this lovely October week with a giveaway! Danielle at Rococo en Fleurs has a new fall collection of wearable fleurs, blooms for any occasion inspired by 18th century portraits!

One lucky Gossip Guide reader will win this fresh made "Antoinette" bloom! 

The "Antoinette" flower is inspired by Joseph Ducreux's 1769 portrait of Marie Antoinette.  Her inspiration includes, colors, texture of materials and of course, flowers!

This hand singed flower was created using light beige, silver, and deep royal blue fabrics and has been filled with authentic clear quartz 3.5mm faceted rondelle beads. Just enough to catch the light!  It measures approximately 2.5" by 2.75" or 6.5cm by 7.5cm.

The winner can select the type of attachment they would like (bobby pin, hair clip, or pin)

How to enter:
Leave a comment on this post telling us how you would wear flowers fashionably today! I might attach one to a long string of pearls!
That is it!

The giveaway closes Sunday October 17 and the winner will be posted here on Monday October 18.

Good luck and thanks for entering!!

October 08, 2010

Fashion Friday!

Here is a little weekend inspiration...

I picked out some of my favorite ensembles, to highlight styles and details.  The video is a collection of the beautiful colors, fabrics and cuts of the 18th century on some of our favorite ladies!

Take it all in, lace trims, diamonds, pearls, delicate appliques, layered fabrics, satins, ribbons and flowers. Personally, I really like the violets and teals....

October 07, 2010

Fashion: I said big monsieur!

"I hear nothing but balls and high heads-so enormous that nobody can sit upright in their coaches, but stoop forward as if they had got the children's collick."

October 05, 2010

Exhibition: Tyranny of Beauty

Marie Antoinette is "the height of sophistication," to Jean-Charles de Castelbajac who spoke about his recent exhibition to the Straits Times.  In Castelbajac's current exhibition: Tyranny of Beauty he aims to
"disembody Marie-Antoinette and turn her into a 21st century woman."
Heather recently posted on the show and all the reasons you may want to check it out!  I want to share a work from the show that you may be interested in....

This particular work of art features three busts of Marie Antoinette.  The question he asked:
What would a plastic surgeon recommend for Marie Antoinette today?

Castelbajac has created three different designs, if you will, each from a different cultural point of view: French, American and Russian.

The French makeover keeps the long forehead, but reduces the size of her lips, while keeping a very similar nose.  The American prescription minimizes the nose and lifts the eyes, while the Russian look features enhanced cheekbones and jawline with a petite nose.

 (1 French, 2 American, 3 Russian)

What do you think of his creations?  Would Marie Antoinette go for any of these looks?  Will you be checking out the exhibition Tyranny of Beauty?

October 01, 2010

A day in the life: Duchesse de Choiseul

"The Duchess has only two hours' time to herself, and these two hours are devoted to her toilet and her letters; the calculation is a simple one,- she gets up at eleven; breakfasts at noon, and this is followed by conversation, which lasts three or four hours; dinner comes at six, after which there is play and the reading of the memoirs of Mme. de Maintenon...the company remains together until two o'clock in the morning."

Taine, Hippolyte A. The Ancient Regime: The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1. Gloucester, Massachusetts: Echo Library, 2006.