Guillotine decapitated guitar to auction
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The guitar was presented to the Queen by her husband and she often played it in front of the guests.
A unique lot will be sold at the Aguttes auction – the guitar of Marie Antoinette herself, the French queen, who was beheaded in 1793, about which many films and TV series were shot. Tatler writes about this.
The guitar was presented to Marie Antoinette by her husband, King Louis XVI. The price of a unique musical instrument starts from 80 thousand euros.
It is known that Marie Antoinette became famous for her extravagant tastes in clothes, brought into fashion huge wigs with jewelry and huge skirts with fizhma. But she was also a talented musician.
Contemporaries described that she often gathered guests in her beloved Petit Trianon Palace, and played the harp, piano or guitar in front of them.
The guitar presented to the queen was made in Paris by master Jacques-Philippe Michelot around 1775.
The Queen gave the guitar to her close friend, the Marquise de La Rochelambert-Teval.
The Marquise, nee Louise Elisabeth de Lostange was the goddaughter Louis de Bourbon, Dauphin of France, father of King Louis XVI. After her marriage, she became a lady-in-waiting to Princess Adelaide de France (aunt of King Louis XVI).
Just a few years younger than Marie Antoinette, she became her close friend and confidante.
So, in a letter from the Marquise de Bombel, it was said that Louise “plays and sings like an angel”, and another contemporary described concert given by the Queen, in which she sang with the Vicomtesse de La Rochelambert.
The guitar was a new and fashionable instrument that the young queen took a liking to. So, visiting a concert given in his honor by Marie Antoinette in 1784, King Gustav III of Sweden said that she “sings very well for the queen.”
The Marquise survived the disasters of the French Revolution by fleeing to Switzerland, her nephew Henri, the Marquis de la Rochelambert, succeeded her on her death in 1835.
The unique musical instrument remained in the family for more than two centuries. And although there is no official document confirming that the guitar was a gift from the queen, historians note that Marie Antoinette bought many musical instruments and “happily gave them”, so, given the attested closeness of Queen Marie Antoinette and the Marquise de la Rochambert, this quite likely.
The body of the guitar is made of rosewood, inlaid with mahogany and decorated with ebony and ivory.
The guitar originally had five strings, but in 1810 it was rebuilt with six strings.
Things of the famous French Queen Marie Antoinette are usually sold at a huge price. It is believed that the artifact will arouse the interest of state museums, including Versailles itself, as well as private collectors.