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Louise Boisen Schmidt
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Cardinal Mazarin's Jewel Collection
Cardinal Mazarin used his immense wealth and influence to amass collections of art greater than that of the king himself. One of his most prized collections consisted of 18 exceptional gemstones. These magnificent stones were known as the Mazarins. Upon his...
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Jewels of Europe
France was the leading lady in the world of fashion during almost the entire 18th century. Throughout this period the styles varied quite little from country to country due to most getting their inspiration from one place: Versailles. Here are some examples...
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The Crown Jewels of France
As one of the most powerful countries in Europe and a court infamous for its style, it is hardly surprising that the House of Bourbon boasted quite a collection of jewels. These included individual precious stones, pieces of jewellery and entire sets. Sadly...
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Le Grand Mazarin
November 2017 saw one of France's most famous gemstones be put up for auction by Christie's. The diamond was mined in India (more specifically in the Golconda mines) and made its way to France where Cardinal Jules Mazarin added it to his collection. Le Gran...
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Cardinal Family Connections: The Mazarinettes
Cardinal Mazarin served Louis XIV as prime minister both during and after the tumultuous Fronde-years. Once the civil war had been won the Cardinal set about consolidating his power at court. This partially included his own personal prestige but also that o...
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A Perfumer's Dream: Favourite Scents of Louis XVI's Court
It is not for nothing that Versailles was referred to as "the perfumed court" -  ever since the court moved there in 1682 the halls and salons was flooded with the sensual notes of perfume. While Louis XIV preferred the strong scents of flowers - orange blo...
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The Visit of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
In 1777 it had been seven years since the 14-year old Archduchess Maria Antonia had married the French dauphin, Louis Auguste. Seven years and no children had come from the union. Worse yet, the marriage had not even been consummated.  This was the year whe...
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Mistresses of Louis XV
Louise-Julie de Mailly-Nesle, Comtesse de Mailly Years: 1732-39 and 1741-42 Louise-Julie was the first mistress Louis XV took following his marriage to Marie Leszczynska. Although their relationship began as early as 1732 it was not until 1738 that she was ...
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Mistresses of Louis XV
Louise-Julie de Mailly-Nesle, Comtesse de Mailly Years: 1732-39 and 1741-42 Louise-Julie was the first mistress Louis XV took following his marriage to Marie Leszczynska. Although their relationship began as early as 1732 it was not until 1738 that she was ...
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The House of Gontaut-Biron
The family was founded in 1147 when Gaston de Gontaut married the daughter of the seigneur de Biron - hence Gontaut-Biron. The house continued until 1798 when the main line died out; however,  a cadet line survives. From the reign of Louis XIV to the revolu...
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