A rare guitar belonging to the last French Queen Marie Antoinette is anticipated to fetch up to $84,000 (approx Rs 69.2 lakh) at an auction, as per a report in CNN. The “Trianon guitar” of the late 18th century, made in Paris by Jacques-Philippe Michelot circa 1775, is listed by the French auction house Aguttes as a rare type of instrument.
According to the auction house, it is called “en bateau”. The body of the guitar is in fruitwood decorated with ivory and ebony fillets, with an openwork ivory rosette depicting a pair of doves embracing on a temple of love.
It is also said that it could be a presumed gift from the Queen of France to the Marquise de La Rochelambert-Thevalles, one of the members of her circle.
The auction listing contains proof that the queen purchased musical equipment for her close friends. “Although there is no document to date that formally attests that this guitar was a gift from Queen Marie-Antoinette, this family information can be considered. Indeed, Patrick Barbier, a music historian, reports in his book “Marie Antoinette et la Musique” that Marie-Antoinette used to buy numerous musical instruments without any invoice and that she willingly gave them to her immediate circle. Considering the documented proximity of Queen Marie-Antoinette and the Marquise de La Rochelambert, this is quite likely,” Aguttes said.
“This guitar (is) exquisite both aesthetically and technically,” Gregoire de Thoury, Aguttes’ head of department and guitar specialist, told CNN. “This guitar is the ambassador of a way of life dear to the Queen’s intimacy,” he added.
The Marquise’s descendants, from her nephew Henri to the present, have kept the instrument safe. The “Trianon guitar” is on display until Thursday in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.
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