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Marie-Antoinette’s travel bag goes for €43,750 at auction

Marie Antoinette’s travel bag has sold for more than five times its estimate at auction near to the Palace of Versailles – the home where she once lived. 

The travel bag from the suite of the queen, who lost her head during the French Revolution – sold for a staggering €43,750 (£39, 143) at an auction of royal memorabilia – after it was estimated to fetch between €8,000 (£7, 157) and €10,000 (£8, 947).  

Made of wood and lined with leather, the online description reads: ‘The interior has been refurbished, but an older lining remains, made of unbleached canvas, presenting in the lid an oval-shaped nailing that held a piece of skin that probably had to be marked with initials or coat of arms.’

It also features an inscription on the lid made of small brass nails which reads ‘Queen’s room number 10.’

French queen Marie Antoinette's travel bag has sold for ¿43,750 (£39, 143) at auction - which is more than five times its estimate. Pictured, wintage Illustration of Marie Antoinette with a rose, after the painting by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun; chromolithograph, 1906.

French queen Marie Antoinette's travel bag has sold for ¿43,750 (£39, 143) at auction - which is more than five times its estimate. Pictured, wintage Illustration of Marie Antoinette with a rose, after the painting by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun; chromolithograph, 1906.

French queen Marie Antoinette’s travel bag has sold for €43,750 (£39, 143) at auction – which is more than five times its estimate. Pictured, wintage Illustration of Marie Antoinette with a rose, after the painting by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun; chromolithograph, 1906.

Queen Marie-Antoinette,1788. Portrait by Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Le Brun (1755-1842). Musee National du Chateau, Versailles, France

Queen Marie-Antoinette,1788. Portrait by Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Le Brun (1755-1842). Musee National du Chateau, Versailles, France

Queen Marie-Antoinette,1788. Portrait by Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Le Brun (1755-1842). Musee National du Chateau, Versailles, France

The Osenat auction house told how there had been competitive bidding ‘both in the room, over the telephone and on the internet’ for the historical objects which once belonged to the French queen, according to Times Malta.    

Meanwhile, a large serviette, which was embroidered with the royal fleurs de lys insignia and leaf crowns with a bouquet of roses, also fetched several times more than its estimate. 

The serviette, which was used during the coronation of the monarch, who was born in Austria, went for €14,500 (£12, 973). 

The online description reads: ‘Used during the Rite of the Sacrament, and kept by the chaplain of Reims, Monsignor Coussy Rectangular, damasked, decorated with fleurs-de-lis in leafy wreaths on the periphery and a bouquet of roses in the centre. 

The travel bag from the suite of the French queen sold for a staggering ¿43,750 (£39, 143) at an auction of royal memorabilia -

The travel bag from the suite of the French queen sold for a staggering ¿43,750 (£39, 143) at an auction of royal memorabilia -

The travel bag from the suite of the French queen sold for a staggering €43,750 (£39, 143) at an auction of royal memorabilia (pictured left), while the serviette, which was used during the coronation of the Austrian-born monarch – went for €14,500 (£12, 973)

‘With its original note in pencil preserved under glass: “Napkin used by Marie-Antoinette during the coronation, and which has been preserved by Mgneur de Coussy who used it during his emigration and from whom we have it.”

During the auction, a lock of hair from her husband, Louis XVI, went under the hammer for €4,000 (£3, 578).  

Marie Antoinette, who was born an archduchess of Austria, was the last queen of France before the French Revolution.

She was the penultimate child and youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I.

How were Marie Antoinette’s jewels smuggled out of France? 

Marie Antoinette’s impressive ensemble of jewels which went up for auction in 2018 has an extraordinary story. 

In March 1791, King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and their children began to prepare their escape from France.

According to accounts written by Marie Antoinette’s lady in waiting, Madame Campan, the queen spent an entire evening in the Tuileries Palace wrapping all of her diamonds, rubies and pearls in cotton and placing them in a wooden chest.

In the following days, the jewels were sent to Brussels, which was under the rule of the queen’s sister, Archduchess Marie-Christine and which was home to Count Mercy Argentau.

The count, the former Austrian Ambassador to Paris, was one of the only men who had retained the queen’s trust.

It was he who took delivery of the jewels and sent them on to Vienna, into the safe keeping of the Austrian Emperor, Marie Antoinette’s nephew.

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Source: dailymail US

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