Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Marie-Antoinette's Breguet Watch

The ambitious Frenchman's self-winding watches fascinated Marie-Antoinette. Her husband, Louis XVI, was also impressed with them and owned several. One day the doomed Queen decided that she wanted a watch with a perpetual repeating calendar as well as a self-winding mechanism and challenged the watchmaker to craft one. Hearing of this, an admirer, perhaps Count Axel Fersen, commissioned probably the most famous watch of all time for his beautiful Queen - the Marie-Antoinette. This amazing watch had a perpetual calender, a chiming repeater, a thermemeter, a power-reserve indicator and a chronograph. It was also lovely looking.

Unfortunately, the Breguet watch wasn't completed until 1827, long after the Queen was sent to the guillotine.

Here is a video about the watch:
Marie-Antoinette Watch

Next Time: The amazing story of the theft and possible recovery of the Marie-Antoinette watch.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Site Of The Week: Antoinette's Closet

Antoinette's Closet

This is an exquisite and very well-organised website about Marie-Antoinette's costumes - her real ones and those in the films. Full of beautiful photos and lots of info about the doomed Queen, it's well worth looking at. This will be one of my favourite sites!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Where Is Empress Elizabeth's Wedding Dress?

Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria, fell in love with beautiful sixteen year old Elizabeth from Bavaria at first sight. He was meant to marry her sister, Helene, but to his dominating mother's sorrow, could not resist young and impulsive 'Sisi'.

The wedding was suitably splendid, but, unfortunately Sisi's wedding dress has been lost. It was a royal tradition to donate the dresses to a church - it became the property of the basilica Maria Taferi. Now only the silver embroidery which became part of a priest's robe remains. It is on show at the Vienna Sisi Museum.
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