Quoteables: Gambling | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Quoteables: Gambling

March 31, 2010

Quoteables: Gambling

Photo by Jeff Hirsch/NYSD.com. A collection 18th century gambling purses each with its personal embroidered coat of arms. Kraemer Collection, Paris.

"The Comte d'Artois and the queen played so high that they were obliged to admit to their society every damaged reputation in Europe to be able to make up a game."

Boigne, Louise-Eléonore-Charlotte-Adélaide d'Osmond, and Sylvia de Morsier-Kotthaus. 1956. Memoirs of the Comtesse de Boigne, Vol. 1, 1781-1815 London: Museum Press.


  1. When did she said/write this? :O

  2. @Anabel: oh you know, in her very flavorful Memoirs! *rolls eyes at Comtesse de Boigne*

  3. I thought I would add some interesting and funny excerpts from Marie A.- The Journey, by Antonia Fraser, on the gambling and spending habits of the French court for everyone’s enjoyment!
    “There is a vignette of the Queen’s life, and that of the King, in an account of a gambling session on the eve of the Queen’s twenty-first birthday in 1776. Marie Antoinette cajoled Louis XVI into importing players from Paris who would act as bankers. Play started on the night of 30 October and continued to the morning of the 31st and went on again until 3 a.m. on the morning of the Feast of All Saints. When the King taxed his wife with this, she replied naughtily: “You said we could play, but you never specified for how long.” the King merely laughed and said quite cheerfully: “You’re all worthless, the lot of you!”
    “”It should be pointed out that the entire royal family was prodigiously extravagant, seeing little connection between what they spent and what they had to spend. This included the pious royal aunts, capable of using up 3 million livres in a six-week period. Then there was the Comte d`Artois, a noted spendthrift who regularly had his debts paid by his elder brother; the soon reached a total of 21 million livres. As for the Comte de Provence, he would have debts of 10 million livres paid by the King in the early 1780s.”