Quay Brothers At Musée Carnavalet


On the third floor of the museum there is a small shelf where you can see some personal belongings of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI, the ones the king and the queen  were allowed to keep while they were locked up during the trial and before the execution: some silverware, a razor, a chess set, two precision tools. His finger-ring, known as the Tears of Louis XVI. Her finger-ring with the locks of hair interwoven on the inside of the indented surface. Five miniature toy soldiers of the Dauphin, one of the soldiers has a leg missing….

On the shelf immediately below, three hairpins in the shape of butterflies; the hairpins are made out of Louis XVI’s clothes, they are made by the nuns in whose care the king’s body came after the execution. On the shelf further to the left, two toy guillotines made out of ivory, complete with the toy guards and executioners. Next shelf to the left has a toy head of the guillotined Louis XVI, in the back of the head there is some real hair. Is this the king’s real hair? Further to the left, in the corner, we see an exact and very functional although somewhat smaller replica of guillotine. Is this the original from Scotland?

 There are paintings of the royal family incarcerated, a portrait of Louis XVII, a painting showing Louis XVII taken away from his mother to be raised by a shoe-maker. A painting of Louis XVI looking off the prison wall. A painting of Louis XVI walking up the steps of the scaffold, and two paintings of his execution, one before and the other after the head was severed from the body.

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This entry was posted in Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Tears of Louis XVI, Toy Guillotine, Toy Severed head of Louis XVI, Toys of Louis XVII, Toys of Revolution, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Quay Brothers At Musée Carnavalet

  1. bethanyx says:

    I wonder if it was his real hair..? Very fascinating…

    • I will go back there tomorrow and conduct a DNA testing myself. No, but I will go back there tomorrow, for today the museum is closed… and I will try taking a photo of her ring: it is not easy to do because my flash goes off, it is kind of dark there, and since all the objects are behind glass, all I ever get is a reflected flash… no, I cannot turn off the flash… it’s a small Nikon and it does what it wants… I am very much fascinated by the objects, not so much for the fetishistic reasons, though there is probably quite a bit of that, but mostly because there are no correspondances between the real objects, the events, pictures, and the accounts of the witnesses… Her real ring… His real hair… Let me do a bit of research on that, and I will get back to you by the end of the day.

      Vadim

      • bethanyx says:

        Thank you very much! Bethany.

      • My research among various French online sources was not very fruitful; apparently there were two or three rings that Louis XVI wore, the wedding band, and he had probably returned it to his wife on the eve of his execution, “la bague de sacre” which was given to him on the day of his coronation and he probably took that one to his grave, or at least this is the index by which Louis XVIII hoped to recognize his body in the common grave, and “la bague de Naundorf” which had a secret mechanism and which served to “identify” the pretender Naundorf as Louis XVII . Today I have taken a few pictures of the “relics” at Carnavalet. And I hope to post and discuss them at Versaillesgossip later tonight.

        Vadim

  2. bethanyx says:

    Thank you very much for that information! Your blog is extremely interesting and I much enjoy reading it. I’m very grateful for you findings. If you find the time please visit me one day at womenofhistory.wordpress.com. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and thank you very much for your extra information! Bethany.

    • The pictures are up. Your blog is very good! I like your format much better than mine. A word of advice: reference and link your articles and your Google rating will go up and then you will get more readers. Otherwise, keep it up, write more, especially during the Spring Break. Write about your school work and your teachers, things that you read and see around you. Question everything, of course! But most importantly write. I never had a student of your age that wrote so well, but then they only wrote because they had to. Women In History is a very good topic. If I see anything interesting, I will send it your way; so, stay in touch, and thank you for comments and kind words.

      Former Social Studies Middle School Teacher, Vadim Bystritski

      • bethanyx says:

        Thank you very much! I find it so ironic that neither of my history teachers like me… It’s a strange world… I’ll try to get some writing done over the hols, especially in my book. Only problem is that I want to start my revision for end-of-year exams in June. Time goes too fast. I love how we can never be quite certain about the past. It’s difficult to know people’s exact motives and I love the contraversy and debate it causes. Thanks again for the advice and support- it’s much appreciated. Bethany.

      • Here is a woman after my heart, Princess Palatine, the great-grandmother of Marie-Antoinette. The wife of the Duke of Orleans. The sister-in-law of Louis XIV, the mother of the Regent. It is through her writing that we have so much detailed information on the Court of Louis XIV. What a string of characters, anecdotes upon anecdotes. Check her out when you have time. I recommend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Charlotte,_Princess_Palatine

  3. bethanyx says:

    Thank you very much for that- I’ll take a look! I haven’t looked into much French history before the Marie Antoinette and not much after the fall of Napoleon, so quite exciting to look at something new!

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