Sunday, April 26, 2015

Marie-Antoinette's Wardrobe Book, 1782

Tiny-Librarian quotes Antonia Fraser:
The Wardrobe Book of 1782, in the care of the Comtesse d’Ossun, survives. Each outfit is categorized and accompanied by a tiny swatch of material. There are samples for the court dresses in various shades of pink, in shadowy grey-striped tissue and in the self-striped turquoise velvet intended for Easter.  

But what is notable is the preponderance of swatches for the more casual clothes, the loose Lévites shown together on one page in an array of colours, from pale grey and pale blue through to the much darker shades of maroon and navy, sometimes with small sprigs embroidered between the stripes.  There are redingotes (from the English word riding-coat) in the same palette of blues, as well as a particular mauve marked Bertin-Normand, coupling together the names of the couturier and the silk-merchant.  Swatches for the so-called ‘Turkish’ robes are shown in self-striped pink and very dark mauve, for the robes anglaises in turquoise and self-striped mauve as well as dark maroon striped in pale blue.  One swatch of material, supplied by the other celebrated silk-merchant, Jean-Nicholas Barbier, uses the Queen’s favourite cornflower to good effect, set in a design of wavy cream-coloured stripes. (Read more.)

1 comment:

Madeleine Doak said...

I knew of it's existence, but hadn't seen pictures. Thanks! It's more rudimentary than I'd have imagined.