Hidden Gems: Courone d'or | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Hidden Gems: Courone d'or

September 20, 2009

Hidden Gems: Courone d'or

In the darker hallways of the Metropolitan Museum you might find some surprises.  Once you enter the lovely French rooms found in the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts section you might just stumble on a few gems or two.

One hallway in particular, you could walk through and almost not notice the 18th century shopfront you walk by. Displaying fancy silver and gilt table-wears in large front windows, with ruched, heavy draping falling from behind, and lit merely by candle glow is a spectacular shop front.  The shop was the Courone d'or (Crown of Gold) and was located on the Quai Bourbon.  I wish my sad little phone could have taken an image but it was so dark nothing came out!

In my mini sweep through the museum (I do not encourage mini-sweeps through the museum) I recall reading that the old wooden shop front had been built over by more modern stone shop front. (This image of the shop is also displayed) There is a bit of info at the Met, but I have yet to find much more. Any tips are appreciated.  I stayed until the guard shooed me away.   :o)

I also wonder what the 2 doors were used for! (aside from front door of course!) If you happen into the met and have not already discovered it, check it out. They also have authentic 18th century hardware from a large shop sign. It looks much like that of the shop Madame du Barry once worked at. I will look for an image!


  1. Maybe one of the doors was the access to the primary apartment hallway?
    I'm a big fan of ambling into the less populace, less desirable parts of museums. Sometimes you find the neatest things where the crowds aren't. Check out this unusual and sad painting that I found in a part of a Philly museum that not even ghosts seemed to haunt. It's a bit sentimental, but interesting:

  2. Oh you are right! And I do find that painting very interesting! Do you happen to be a fan of Joel-Peter Witkin? It just reminded me of his stuff.

  3. I'll look him up - not familiar with him.

  4. Lauren,
    I'm looking for unusual portraits of Marie Antoinette and her sisters.
    I know there had to been alot.
    Do you have any that you think is pretty uncommon to come by, or in a private collection?
    Also how much would an original painting of Marie Antoinette be worth?
    I would guess tens of millions.

  5. @Anonymous,
    Great questions! I am not sure how much a portrait of her would go for at auction, considering her pearls were recently priced at £400,000 I would say a good amount!

    There are actually some very nice portraits of Antoinette and her siblings by the Meytens School done in the early 1760's. I am not sure of where they are kept (a series of 4) but if you are interested send me an email and I can recommend a book for you. What are you researching for?

  6. I'm so excited about these pictures, how i've been google:ing! I remember seeing this when at the Met six years ago and i was so disappointed that there were nothing in the "Period rooms" book, that shop front had me more enthralled than even the Verengeville room!
    Soon i'll see it again as i head for NYC next friday!

  7. Oh you will be in New York! you must be sure to check out the exhibitions happening! (I have a calendar of exhibitions at the bottom of the website)

    Now I could not grab a picture of the shopfront itself because my phone camera was lame - but you should try and get one of it! (then send to me! :o)

    Will you be travelling around or just in the city?

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  9. Oh, thanks! I must check them out, i must also visit Frick, wich i missed last time.

    I'll do my best...but i remember the rigorous security contriols last time, and they can hardly have lightened up?

    I'll be mainly in Nyc with my niece but will also be visiting my halfsister in Pennsylvania, it will be a busy week!