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How Many Clothes Antoinette Had
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Author:  Hellou_Librorum [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:39 pm ]
Post subject:  How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

Apparently Antoinette according to Madame Campan she had

"Twelve full dresses, twelve undresses called fancy dresses, and twelve rich hoop dresses for the card and supper parties in the smaller apartments. She had as many for the summer; those for spring served likewise for the autumn all of these dresses were discarded at the end of the season, unless, indeed she retained some she particularly liked."

"Where all were folded up and hung up, examined and cleaned with such regularity and care that even the cast off clothes looked scarcely worn." The Memoirs of Marie Antoinette Madame Capman page 80.

Author:  dreamoutloud [ Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

As a costume history geek, it makes me sad that so few of her clothes survived the Revolution. What did survive besides the shoe, the bodice, and now the dress that was recently put on display? What an excellent collection of 1770s and 1780s fashion we would have had from the cutting edge of fashion...

Author:  Anouk [ Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

Do you know where are dresses exhibited who survived noxious 1790s?

Author:  Ludy [ Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

I would have thought she owned many more garments than that. She had so many that some of them had indeed never been worn. Like Madame Elisabeth or even other nobles, she had a little book displaying the various cloths her dresses were made of, so that she could pick which one she would wear. One of this book is conserved, however, only on Madame Elisabeth's are the prints left by the pins that were used to point at the chosen dresses still noticebale. I find those details particularly cute and moving.

I would also like to see one of MA's remaining dresses. First of all because court dresses must really be grandious. And it would enable me to figure out how tall she actually was -in short, to imagine her better. Where are those few dresses displayed ?

Author:  dreamoutloud [ Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

That's the thing, I don't think any of these dresses survive. That's why it was amazing when that one dress turned up at the Royal Ontario Museum a few months ago. None of them (that I'm aware of) are known to exist. With very few exceptions, not much survived the Revolution, especially not the grand court dresses. I doubt much survived from after Marie Antoinette moved to the Tuileries, as after the storming of the Tuileries on August 10, 1792 people just kind of wandered through and made off with things.

Author:  ShaktiValkyrie [ Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

I can't describe how excited I am to have won this!!!
I'm not sure how large it is or how "dirty", but I would be happy with only an inch. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0371744018
Makes me wonder though, if this is numbered 30/300, Where could the others be?
I can't wait to get it!! I just had to share with people who can understand my excitement. One of my friends just said, "looks old. and not to pretty."
I tried to tell her how special it was to me, but got nothing. I love her anyhow. :biggrin:

Author:  Hellou_Librorum [ Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

Oh no! I can't see it. I'm a bit skeptical about that sort of thing, however it is indeed legitimate congratulations!

Author:  ShaktiValkyrie [ Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

Thank you very much! I too was skeptical, I think it would be silly not to. However I contacted the man that certified it via e-mail and have been assured that it's the real thing. I feel so lucky!! I'm going to try to put up the images. Hope I can. LOL
OK, it seems I'm a bit to daft and can't figure it out. :lol: So I've uploaded them to my website and you can see them there.
Just go to http://heterodoxy-pix.deviantart.com and they are on my front page. To see them separately just click on the 'Gallery' button.
:)

Author:  Artois [ Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

I can't help but feel that Marie Antoinette would have thought the number of dresses prepared based on time of year, design (hoop, afternoon gown, evening gown, etc.) ridiculous and excessive especially since some were never worn. This 'gown design and schedule was part of the cumbersome and ponderous etiquette that seems to have affected virtually every aspect of life and had been passed along to Marie Antoinette from Maria Leszczynska, Louis XV's wife.

While Marie Antoinette was certainly not one to pinch pennies (make that Louis d'Or's), she was practical enough to know what her wardrobe requirements were and how they changed over time. Again she was placed in a 'no-win' situation; if she reduced or changed the wardrobe procedure she was tampering with a court ptocedure that had been in place for years and the courtiers were resentful. Remember the uproar when she chose muslin dresses for le hameau? If she continued with the existing gown schedule, servants, peasants, etc. would criticize the waste of the Austrian.

Author:  Rosalie [ Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

Artois wrote:
I can't help but feel that Marie Antoinette would have thought the number of dresses prepared based on time of year, design (hoop, afternoon gown, evening gown, etc.) ridiculous and excessive especially since some were never worn. This 'gown design and schedule was part of the cumbersome and ponderous etiquette that seems to have affected virtually every aspect of life and had been passed along to Marie Antoinette from Maria Leszczynska, Louis XV's wife.

While Marie Antoinette was certainly not one to pinch pennies (make that Louis d'Or's), she was practical enough to know what her wardrobe requirements were and how they changed over time. Again she was placed in a 'no-win' situation; if she reduced or changed the wardrobe procedure she was tampering with a court ptocedure that had been in place for years and the courtiers were resentful. Remember the uproar when she chose muslin dresses for le hameau? If she continued with the existing gown schedule, servants, peasants, etc. would criticize the waste of the Austrian.


Excellent points, Artois! I also think so

Author:  ShaktiValkyrie [ Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

So, I have a bit of bad news. I was so excited to be getting that piece of her dress and the papers that came with it.
Turns out, that's not what I got. Whoever has the larger piece is cutting it up into little section about 2-3mm. Then they attach it to a glossy card stock like paper with a photo of MA on it with a bit of clear tape. Oh, and the papers explaining how the piece got to be where it is, they ended up just being photo copies of the real thing. So, I ended up paying $56.00 for 1 page of photo copied papers, a photo copied print of the large patch of dress, and an ettsy bitty cut off the patch. Maybe, and I stress MAYBE the size of a #2 pencil eraser.

I can't even describe how disappointed I was. :angry7:
Thankfully they had a return policy and I was able to get the money back. So, that was a lesson learned. If you see a small speck of something on a photo, be sure to ask about it and not think it's just a bad scan or something. LOL

Author:  jimcheval [ Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

The ebay item reminds me of a story I heard long ago of how some pots from Troy got dispersed during the war (in Czechoslovakia, I think) and someone offered to pay for every piece brought back to the museum they'd been in.

Then they realized people were breaking up intact pots to get paid by the piece.

If the cloth was genuine, what a crime to cut it up.

Otherwise, for those truly fascinated by Marie-Antoinette's dresses, I've mentioned elsewhere that the Los Angeles County Museum Doris Stein Research Center has Rose Bertin's catalogue (in two volumes, as I recall) of the dresses she made for the queen. Their catalogue used to be on-line somewhere, but this is the closest I can find now:
http://collectionsonline.lacma.org/mwebcgi/mweb.exe?request=browpage&dept=cost

Otherwise, there's quite a bit about Ms. Bertin out there:
http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Rose+Bertin%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Author:  Brittany [ Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

Thank you so much for the links, Jim! The one for the Los Angeles County Museum is fabulous.
:D

Author:  jimcheval [ Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

I just happened on this brief note in Zeldin's (very informative and lively) book "The French":

Quote:
In the eighteenth century, the French tradition was to have only a few types of dresses but 250 ways of garnishing them.

http://www.amazon.com/French-Theodore-Zeldin/dp/1860460755/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240287613&sr=1-2

It's a new idea to me, so I haven't dug into any period sources on the idea.

Author:  Madame Elisabeth [ Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Clothes Antoinette Had

Fun rumor: When the Russian Empress Elizabeth died it is said that she left over 15.000 dresses! The rumour also tells that she liked to change clothes up to 12 times a day!
I couldn't imagine our dear Antoinette to have so many dresses. Yet, doesn't the start of the Antonia Fraser book have a little description of, it not how many dresses, but at least what kind of dresses she had left her?
I find it weird that she would bring her whole wardrobe to the Tuileries, since It's seems like being the fact since there is almost none of her garments left. The mob couldn't possibly get hold of her wardrobe at Versailles? Or was it unguarded untill Napoleon took to use it as his residence for some time?

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