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Marie Antoinette's sword and rifle?
http://forum.marie-antoinette.org/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1790
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Author:  lilyofthevalley [ Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:42 am ]
Post subject:  Marie Antoinette's sword and rifle?

I stumbled across something on Flickr, but I can't find any information about it elsewhere so I'm wondering if anyone here could help...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/blueix/3078574837/ - this website has a picture of what they say is Marie Antoinette's sword and rifle. From the tags, I gather it's from a museum in Rothenburg.

Can anyone verify that this is or isn't something she owned? I'd imagine if it were, there would be something about them online, but I couldn't find anything even with various searching...

Author:  jimcheval [ Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Marie Antoinette's sword and rifle?

Here's what Frommer's says:
http://books.google.com/books?id=WCLYha45G5wC&pg=PT399&lpg=PT399&dq=Rothenburg+Marie+Antoinette&source=bl&ots=devjF7XVpJ&sig=qSmaXrk48b-2tVxRpBfQIWCmq2U&hl=en&ei=PC8vS_rqBpySswOBqtHRAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CBgQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Rothenburg%20Marie%20Antoinette&f=false

In a word, yes, the museum does claim that "flintlock riflies and sabers ...once belonged to Marie-Antoinette and Napoleon's brother".

Author:  Artois [ Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Marie Antoinette's sword and rifle?

Marie Antoinette with a rifle and sabre? Why? I find it hard to believe that she would possess such items unless of course she went hunting with Louis. She didn't because of the hard driving pace he maintained that left him covered with sweat.Why didn't she use the rifle and sabre when the mob attacked her in the palace when she escaped to Louis' room? I've never read any mention of these items and they seem so foreign to Marie Antoinette's femininity and her love of 'girl' pursuits. There are so many incidents in her tragic life where a rifle and sabre would have come in handy and I think Antoinette would have been tempted to use them if she had them.

Author:  jimcheval [ Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Marie Antoinette's sword and rifle?

She might well have had a rifle for hunting, which she did do, even if she shared no such love of it as her husband:

http://books.google.com/books?id=DkVBAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA264&dq=%22Marie-ANtoinette%22+chasse&lr=&cd=20#v=onepage&q=hunting&f=false

The saber might have been lumped in here a bit lightly, belonging rather to Napoleon's brother. But it is always possible she was given one as a symbolic gift as some sort. Modern Academiciens wear swords and most certainly don't use them.

In any case, even if she possessed them, that doesn't imply any expertise with them, and given that the very martial Swiss Guards were slaughtered by a mob, it doesn't seem that MA using them in any real fighting situation would have been very wise.

Author:  Artois [ Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Marie Antoinette's sword and rifle?

Good points as usual, Jim. I must have watched too many Roy Rogers and Dale Evans reruns as a child. The image of Marie Antoinette riding side saddle, coiffure and gown blowing in the wind, taking pot shots at a stag with Louis, dripping with sweat, screaming her on, then finishing off the beast with her sabre was more than I could bear. I wonder if she had spurs on her high heels and leather chaps under her Bertin original?

In a more serious vein, I wonder if Antoinette would have used the rifle/sabre? I can think of two situations where I feel Antoinette would have been tempted due to the tension and emotions were so evident. The first would be when the crowd marchd from Paris and broke into the palace forcing Antoinette to run to Louis' bedroom for safety. The other was when members of the commune came to take her son away from her.

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