Gilt State Bed of Queen Marie Antoinette. Palais de Fontainebleau.

Queen, Marie Antoinette, Gilt State Bed, Rococo, furniture, Philippe de Lassale, Fontainebleau
Gilt State Bed of Queen Marie Antoinette

Gilt State Bed of Queen Marie Antoinette

In the Chambre à Coucher, Palais de Fontainebleau, France. The Lyonnais Silk Hangings, designed by Philippe de Lassale.

French, Style Louis XVI.: The Barrière of Empire Period.

“The moss his bed; his cave, the humble cell.” — The Hermit.

OF all the examples extant of the towering upholstered bedsteads – which, that they might not appear dwarfed by the height of the apartments, at times exceeded 18 feet in altitude – this gorgeous lit de parade of Marie Antoinette is probably the gayest.

As the present-day colorings of the Lyonnais tapestry hangings can be but faded reminiscences of the original tones, its antithesis is equally striking to both the simple bed of nature in Parnell’s Hermit, and the sad couch of black velvet embroidered with pearls, used by that grim predecessor of Marie Antoinette, Catherine de Médicis.

In addition to the instances already given – whilst treating of the pre-eminence of the French in the furniture of repose-of the wealth expended upon beds de luxe, it may be recorded that a summer bedstead of Queen Marie Antoinette’s was valued at 131.820 livres (about 400,000 €).

We are told also that at the marriage of a princess of France, £25,000 was regarded as a reasonable sum to spend upon the laces of the linens and bedspreads.

The Chambre des Reines in which Queen Marie Antoinette΄s bed stands was used by four Maries who almost successively occupied the French throne, Marie de Médicis, Marie Thérèse, Marie Antoinette, and the Empress Marie Louise. The present balustrade or barrière separating the bed of Empire detail, is no doubt that provided for the last-named queen.

Note:  The medieval architecture of the Hôtel Chambellan at Dijon.

Both in France and England, ladies of the bed-chamber were appointed in the seventeenth century, in place of grooms or valets, who had been placed inside the balustrade in order to protect the bed. Probably no ladies of the bed-chamber would have sufficed to dislodge the cherry-seller who took possession of the lit de parade at the Tuileries (when the king and queen vacated that place in their flight of 1791 to Versailles), announcing, as she sat thereon and sold her fruit: “To-day it is the nation’s turn to be comfortable.” Was this, one wonders, the same Tuileries bed from which one morning Marie Antoinette arose, and, in response to her attendants’ compliments on her good looks, removed her nightcap and revealed her hair, turned quite white in a single night.

The counterpane provided for “the Austrian’s” use during her imprisonment in the Temple, preserved in the Musée Carnavalet, would make but a sorry covering to this piece of mobiliary pomp.

The final furniture of Queen Marie Antoinette is entered in the burial register of the Madeleine thus: “For the coffin of the Widow Capet, seven francs.”

Source: The book of decorative furniture, its form, color and history by Edwin Foley, 1910.


Support and Seduction: The History of Corsets and Bras (Abradale Books) by Beatrice Fontanel.

Thoughout the ages, women's breasts have been subjected to the endless whims of fashion.

From the ancient Greeks to Mae West and Madonna, this light-hearted book charts the changing shapes of female beauty. The elegant and amusing images - including fashion drawings, paintings, photographs, and film stills - illustrate the often surprising history of the garments women have worn for support - and seduction.

Leave a Reply

The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Beauty: 40 Projects for Period-Accurate Hairstyles, Makeup and Accessories by Lauren Stowell & Abby Cox.

Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail by Avril Hart & Susan North. From cut and construction to fabric and trimmings.

Auguste Racinet. The Costume History by Françoise Tétart-Vittu.

Racinet's Costume History is an invaluable reference for students, designers, artists, illustrators, and historians; and a rich source of inspiration for anyone with an interest in clothing and style. Originally published in France between 1876 and 1888, Auguste Racinet’s Le Costume historique was in its day the most wide-ranging and incisive study of clothing ever attempted.

Covering the world history of costume, dress, and style from antiquity through to the end of the 19th century, the six volume work remains completely unique in its scope and detail. “Some books just scream out to be bought; this is one of them.” ―

The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World Paperback – December 7, 2021
by Virginia Postrel (Author)

From Neanderthal string to 3D knitting, an “expansive” global history that highlights “how textiles truly changed the world” (Wall Street Journal)

Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

FASHIONPEDIA is a visual fashion dictionary covering all the technical terms from style to material to production with illustrations and infographics. It encompasses rich, extensive information and yet is easy to read. Whether you are an industry insider or a fashion connoisseur, FASHIONPEDIA is all you will ever need to navigate the fashion scene.

Textilepedia. The Complete Fabric Guide.

The Textile Manual is an encyclopaedia of textile information, from material to yarn, from fabric structure to the finishing process. Encompassing practical tips for a range of textiles and detailed visuals, this ultra-accessible manual is the perfect companion for fashion aficionados and aspiring fashion designers.


Couture: then and now Clothes define people. A person's clothing, whether it's a sari, kimono, or business suit, is an essential key to his or her culture, class, personality, or even religion. The Kyoto Costume Institute recognizes the importance of understanding clothing sociologically, historically, and artistically.