Drinking Out Of the Queen’s Breast

Today at a local school of high learning I found an interesting book, a catalogue of items exhibited in 2006-2007 at Versailles Municipal Library for a scholarly event, Marie-Antoinette femme reelle, femme mythique. At that time you could see there an amusing little book, a book whose title page I give you below. This book was published in 1791 by Prudhomme, Paris under a scary name of The Crimes of the Queens of France.

Wow! What we see is an orgiastic rite of some mystery cult where the priestess, magic wand in the left hand, puts to sleep her royal spouse and then, with the right hand, offers to her votary a chalice in the shape very similar to a breast. The priestess is Marie-Antoinette; and the chalice is not an invention of an imaginary turn of mind. At the end of XVIII century there was such a cup at Little Trianon, not one — several of them, and they were in the shape of the Queen’s breasts. Les Goncourt in their Histoire de Marie-Antoinette have a drawing of the precious thing!

These bowls were manufactured at Sevres. Skin color! Limited edition! All the casts destroyed! And milk was served in them at the Queen’s Farm. Now why don’t they sell souvenirs of such a caliber at any of Chateau Versailles boutiques? I can just picture a Japanese businessman sipping his sake out of one of these. Even myself, lactose intolerant as I am, and probably for that reason not quite sure if I really want to eat my cereal out of it, but definitely… I would definitely like to hold one.


About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
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