Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 2 December 2020

Silk shoe owned by Marie Antoinette to go under the hammer

The last French queen was renowned for her impeccable and ostentatious style

An elegant white shoe made of silk and goat leather that belonged to Marie Antoinette, France's last queen before the 1789 revolution, is going under the hammer.

The 22.5 centimetre-long shoe, adorned with four ribbons near its tip, is in good condition apart from slight wear of the silk, the Osenat auction house said.

The reserve price for the sale, which will take place in Versailles, France, on Sunday, November 15, is €8,000 to €10,000 ($9,450 to $11,800).

In the throes of the French Revolution, the shoe ended up in the possession of Marie-Emilie Leschevin, a close friend of the queen's head chambermaid, whose husband later died by the guillotine during the revolution.

Her family held on to it for generations before it came to auction 227 years after the queen's death.

Marie Antoinette, who was born an Austrian archduchess, was the wife of Louis XVI, who was deposed by the French Revolution of 1789. The royal couple were executed by guillotine in 1793, but France continues to be fascinated by Marie Antoinette.

Last year an exhibition at the Conciergerie, the former Paris prison where she was incarcerated before her execution, retraced changes in the representation of the last French queen through paintings, mangas, films and even Barbie dolls.

In May, a travel trunk belonging to Marie Antoinette attracted strong bidding at an auction, as did a printed cloth she wore for her 1775 inauguration as queen.

Updated: November 15, 2020 10:19 AM

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