I think the next set of objects are the most interesting things I’ve posted since Napoleon’s bees which I encourage you to view: Click Here
Carved by Napoleonic prisoners of war, unknown origins: “An extension to this tradition was the production of ships models by captured French sailors of the Napoleonic wars. The prisoners, many kept on aging hulks moored in harbours such as Portsmouth, would use pieces of bone and horn from the meat supplied to the galleys to produce finely detailed ships models using their knowledge of the designs and rigs of fighting ships of the period. With the open assistance of the guards and their officers, the models were then traded, with the prisoner receiving a small amount with which he could purchase additional materials, food and tobacco. At the end of the Napoleonic War many of the French sailors entered the well-established trade producing bone and ivory souvenirs centred in French ports such as Dieppe.”
I get shivers whenever I see this dress. For me the embroidered bloody guillotine and the red x on her neck sum up the entire French Revolution.
Another excerpt from the book Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber.
This was taken from page 8 and is my favorite line in the entire novel.
" Indeed according to the biographer Carolly Erickson, shortly after the guillotine sliced it’s own bloody version of a necklace into the Queen’s throat, well-born women in Paris began tying "thin red ribbon around their necks as reminders of what they might soon suffer.”
The last moments of Madame Elisabeth, from the Life and Letters of Madame Elisabeth de France:
[The cart arrived at the scaffold, and Madame Élisabeth] was the first to descend; the executioner offered his hand, but the princess looked the other way and needed no help. At the foot of the scaffold was a long bench on which the victims were told to sit. By a refinement of cruelty Madame Élisabeth was placed nearest the steps to the scaffold, but she was the last of the twenty-five called to ascend them; she was to see and hear the killing of them all before her turn should come. During that time she never ceased to say the De profundis; she who was about to die prayed for the dead.
The first to be called was Mme. de Crussol. She rose immediately; as she passed Madame Élisabeth she curtsied, and then, bending forward, asked to be allowed to kiss her. “Willingly, and with all my heart,” replied the princess. All the other women, ten in number, did likewise. The men, as they passed her, each bowed low the head that an instant later was to fall into the basket. When the twenty-fourth bowed thus before her, she said: “Courage, and faith in God’s mercy.”
Then she rose herself, to be ready at the call of the executioner. She mounted firmly the steps of the scaffold. Again the man offered his hand, but withdrew it, seeing from her bearing that she needed no help. With an upward look to heaven, she gave herself into the hands of the executioner. As he fastened her to the fatal plank, her neckerchief came loose and fell to the ground.
“In the name of your mother, monsieur, cover me,” she said. Those were her last words.
What a remarkable woman. To have such strength and courage in the face of that. She faced the end as she lived, with decorum and pride befitting her status.
Marie Antoinette’s severed head.
I love the entire “Royal Blood” series by Dutch photography Erwin Olaf. It’s so deliciously taboo.
Vampire Style Photography at it’s finest.