Friday, August 30, 2013

Exotic Pets

The eighteenth century saw a fascination with exotic pets. From Leah Marie Brown:
Marie Antoinette's chief lady-in-waiting, Laure-Auguste de Fitz-James, the Princesse de Chimay, kept a monkey as a pet.  On fine days, the princesse enjoyed parading her monkey through the gardens at Versailles.  Wearing a tiny suit, he would scamper about, delighting visitors with his silly antics.  Some say the monkey enjoyed more popularity that his mistress.
  The princesse was not the only aristocrat in 18th century France to nurture a passion for the exotic.  Parrots, lions, tigers, ocelots, capuchin monkeys, elephants, white peacocks, and leopards were owned by various members of the aristocracy, who would pay to have the creatures brought from Africa, India, or South America. 
The naturalist, scientist, and cosmologist, Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte of Buffon, was fascinated with exotic creatures and kept a beautiful green parrot as a pet.  Parrots were an extremely popular pet choice for men and women. (Read more.)

1 comment:

julygirl said...

Remember, the King of Siam wanted to send President Lincoln a pair of elephants.