Monday, December 16, 2013

Marie Antoinette - Version 1


Born in 1755, Marie would grow up to become a symbol of extreme extravagance. The daughter of the Empress of Austria, Marie was married at age fifteen to the French dauphin Louis XVI. In 1774 she became Queen of France when her husband inherited the throne.

To ease the boredom of French royal life and the marital neglect she suffered, Marie surrounded herself with young friends and dove into a life of pleasure, hosting lavish parties and theatrical events and wearing outrageously expensive gowns and hairstyles. Scandals surrounded her activities, and her wild spending was ruinous as the common people fell deeper and deeper into financial despair.

Revolution soon followed and the royal court was overthrown. Both Marie and her husband were tried for crimes against their country. Although tried separately and months apart, they were both were found guilty and sentenced to death. On October 16, 1793 the former Queen was hauled alone in a dilapidated cart to the scaffold in Paris where she was beheaded by the guillotine.


To really appreciate the lavish extravagance and excessiveness of this queen that made the French people so sore during her time, the Marie Antoinette doll was made a little differently than most of our other dolls. The reworked vinyl doll itself is approx. 16" tall, but her long gown extends to over 23". This doll can be moved into a sitting position, or can be displayed on a tall stand that has been extended so that her feet do not touch the ground.

Marie's lavish gown is made of golden floral satin brocade with acrylic pearl and lace trimming and decorated with lots of roses and bows. A cream-colored silky underskirt peaks out from beneath. A soft wire frame beneath her skirting holds the shape of the dress and can be bent to suit any pose. A large golden ornament with strung acrylic pearls drops at her waist. She also wears matching pearl jewelry around her wrists and what is left of her neck.

Her face is hand-painted in a porcelain tone with brightly colored lips, as was fashionable during the height of her royal days, and her severed head is attached to her left hand. Her clouded eyes peer from beneath thinly painted eyebrows. The neck stump and above the shoulders are both cut cleanly to resemble the wound inflicted by the guillotine. Blood, spinal column bone, and muscle tissue is visible from both wounds.


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