August 29, 2014

An 18th Century Dance


François Marie Isidore Queverdo. La Danse. 1772, Pen and black ink, bistre, gray and blue washes, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.



August 12, 2014

Madame DuBarry Movie Release

Madame du Barry movie poster 1920


Eureka!Entertainment have announced they are releasing Madame DuBarry, as part of their Masters of Cinema Series on September 22, 2014.

This film stars actress Pola Negri (Emma Bovary in Madame Bovary 1937) as Jeanne Vaubernier, who would become the infamous Madame DuBarry and Emil Jannings as Louix XV. Jennings also portrayed King Henry VIII in Anna Boleyn (1920).


Pola Negri as 18th century French royal mistress Madame Du Barry in the 1920 film
Pola Negri as Madame Du Barry, working her way up the aristocratic ladder in Madame DuBarry (1919). Photograph by Theodor Sparkühl and Fritz Arno Wagner. The Pola Negri Appreciation Site

"[The film Madame DuBarry] tore down the American ban on German films, caused an international interest in German pictures that for a time threatened to overshadow Hollywood, and began the Hollywood phenomenon of importing overseas talent, beginning with director Ernst Lubitsch on December 24, 1921, and following up with Pola Negri on September 12, 1922. Only in France did this film do poorly, where its rewrite of French history was generally considered to be revisionist German propaganda." -David Gasten 

Madame DuBarry was originally released in 1920 by First National with the title Passion. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch, and costumes designed by Ali Hubert.

costume designs for Madame du Barry fashion history sketches
Costume for Jeanne Vaubernier for the film Madame Dubarry. Ali Hubert. European Film Gateway. 

costume designs for Madame du Barry fashion history sketches
Costume Design  for the film Madame Dubarry.. Ali Hubert. European Film Gateway. 

The new release features  HD 1080p presentation, Blu-ray, and newly translated English subtitles.


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August 05, 2014

Marie Antoinette's Shoes




These shoes were auctioned off in 2012, said to be a pair belonging to Marie Antoinette. To further the provenance, the shoes come with the story that Alexandre-Bernard Ju-Des-Rets gave the shoes to Marie Anotinette as a gift when she was twenty years old.


Shoes that belonged to Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette's Shoes
Marie Antoinette's shoes in green and pink with bows.  NY Daily News.


Shoes that belonged to Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette's Shoes
Marie Antoinette's shoes at the auction house. Photo by luxury.net

These pink and green slippers were sold by Paris Drouot auction house which had estimated they would fetch between $8,000 and $13,000. The shoes sold for $65,600.


In 2010 these tricolor-ribbon slippers, also said to have belonged to Marie Antoinette sold for $57,000.


Shoes that belonged to Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette's Shoes
Tricolor Ribbon shoes said to belong to Marie Antoinette. Photo by Styleite.com



Here is another pair of slippers, said to be worn by Marie Antoinette. (below)

Shoes that belonged to Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette's Shoes
Slippers that belonged to Marie Antoinette, Musee Carnavalet. Photograph by Sandrine.


These slippers below were gifted to the museum by a serious collector, Mrs. Clarence R. Hyde. The slippers include a paper label that states "Worn by Maria Antonietta, late Queen of France at the time She was taken at Paris" and an adhesive label "Marie Antoinette's Slippers"

Shoes that belonged to Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette's Shoes
Slipper. 1790–95, Silk. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Slippers. 1790–95, Silk. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


And just for fun...The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a pair of shoes in their collection that was used in the  film, Marie Antoinette, by Sofia Coppola.  The shoes were designed by Manolo Blahnik (among several other pairs) for the film. The designer gifted the shoes to the museum in 2006.

Shoes made for the film Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, made by Manolo Blahnik

Aren't they wonderful?

Shoes made for the film Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, made by Manolo Blahnik
Manolo Blahnik, Shoes made for the film, Marie Antoinette. 2005-6, silk, leather. Gift of MB 2006. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Shoes made for the film Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, made by Manolo Blahnik
Manolo Blahnik, Shoes made for the film, Marie Antoinette. 2005-6, silk, leather. Gift of MB 2006. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Detail via TheHistorialist


August 04, 2014

A Downton Abbey Experience: Lady Mary's Necklace or Lessons from the Butler


In case you haven't made a journey to Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey) yet or you just need a serious Downton fix - Christies is auctioning off real Downton Abbey experiences this August! 

For example, you can learn how to set the table with a lesson from the Highclere Castle butler, or perhaps you have had your eye on Lady Mary's necklace?  That too is available.  



Other more deluxe experiences include a large dinner party for you and your friends and even an exclusive overnight at Downton (hang out in Lady Edith's room, anyone?)

The overnight package might wow you with its excellent write up and hilarious image:


"I am sorry, who will be staying here??"
Eleven bedrooms occupy the first floor of Highclere Castle (40-50 occupy the other floors).  The Arundel bedroom (used as Lady Edith’s room in ITV’s Downton Abbey) and its dressing room were used respectively as an operating theatre and recovery room during the First World War when Almina, the 5th Countess (with Lord Kitchener's blessing), turned the castle into a military hospital. (Almina headed the nursing staff herself.) The Mercia bedroom (used as Lady Cora’s room in Downton Abbey) is noted for its charming four-poster bed decorated with 18th-century silks and matching furniture. This ultimate overnight is a unique opportunity to spend the night in these wonderful rooms and dine with the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon in Highclere Castle.

All proceeds from this auction go to Heroes at Highclere, which supports numerous armed forces charities.

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