If you happened to read the large-font title, you’ve already figured out what Getty Collection gâteau I deemed too sweet not to have its own post. Let us gaze upon it in reverence! How can you lump the chaise where m@ was primped and painted in with some pedestrian side chairs? Heck, how can you put something so incomparable side-by-side with anything?
Wow, yesterday I told you to contain your excitement, but it’s your Blog Hostess who is yammering deliriously now. I have never wanted to sit in a chair so badly in my life. That silken, tasselled rope draped across the armrest seemed so innocuous now…
She sat right here in this chair the size of which recalls a fifth-grade classroom–in size, not decor, design or comfort–naturally. (I’m naturally the size of a 5th Grader! That silk rope never looked less deterrent.) The Queen’s chaise is finely carved with bands of lily-of-the-valley and ivy along the curved supports of the arms, while the legs and edge of the circular seat imitate caning.
Sure you can call the late 1700s aristocracy superficial, but do tip your hat to their ingenuity in facilitating their narcissism. The chaise de toilette was built with a low back and a swivel mechanism, specifically designed to facilitate the daily hair, make-up and dressing performance. Just imagine the whirlwind of waiting women whisking around you…. [cue harp music, thank you.]
Spin right, blush. Spin left, Monsieur Leonard nestles more ornaments into madame’s coiffure, somehow 18 inches above your forehead. Spin again, stocking shoes…arms up! Into the sleeves of a garment that snuck up behind… Yeah, somehow the process seems a little less than relaxing. I think I need a Dramamine.
Obviously, ‘Toinette the Queen of France, daughter of the Caesars, had more than one chaise de toilette. (Wouldn’t you?) This was not her palace primp chair, ‘Toinette dolled up in this chair before “rusticating” at Trianon or her Petit Hameau.
This chaise de toilette was part of a set of furniture delivered to the palace in 1787 that also included two armchairs, two side chairs, a fire screen, and a stool. The bed from the set is missing, but the rest remains at Petit Trianon. The other pieces retain the original pastel-colored paint in yellow, blue, green, and white. All of which has unfortunately been stripped from this chair.
Yeesh. Now it doesn’t seem so special, huh? Peeling paint! Let’s see if I can find an image of the rest of the set.
Something from Petit Trianon that wasn’t stripped of its paint? How about this adorable, portable reading table.Unlike most of the furniture in Petit Trianon, this wasn’t a design choice of M@, it was made for Louis XV’s mistress Madame de Montespan. This table’s marquetry of ivory and horn, painted blue underneath, in imitation of blue-and-white Chinese porcelain, a fashionable and highly-prized material. Even better, the blue-and-white motif goes perfectly with the same color décor in the Trianon.
I’d put my drink down on it while they teased my hair skyward and wrapped it over a wire skeleton. I read about the entire process once…you’ll want a drink or two just to watch! (Coasters! Don’t forget coasters!)
What fabulous guests you are!
- Freewheeling in the late 1700s: marie antoinette field trip II (part 2)
- Sweet Dreams with Marie Antoinette (another M@ Field Trip)
- le Nécessaire: Marie Antoinette’s Makeup Case
- the First M@ Field Trip and those Macarons Incroyables