Marie-Antoinette's silk slipper fetches $50,000

A white-shoe made of silk and goat leather that belonged to Marie-Antoinette, France's last queen before the 1789 revolution, sold for 43,750 euros ($51,780) on Sunday, the auctioneers said.

Marie-Antoinette's silk slipper fetches $50,000
This handout picture taken on October 5, 2020 and released on November 13, 2020 by the Osenat Auction House in Versailles, west of the French capital Paris, shows a white shoe that once belonged to France's Queen Marie-Antoinette, fashioned from goatskin and silk with a leather sole and four overlapping pleated ribbons, and which measures 22.5 centimeters (8.8 inches) with a heel that is 4.7 centimeters (1.85 inches) in height. The single shoe will be auctioned by Osenat in Versailles on November 15, 2020. Belonging to Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France who was executed during the French Revolution 1793, the shoe has a reserve of €8,000 to €10,000 ($9,450 to $11,800). The shoe had ended up with Marie-Emilie Leschevin, a close friend of the queen's head chambermaid, whose husband also died at the guillotine. AFP
The 22.5 centimetre-long (8.8-inch), heeled shoe, roughly equivalent to a European size 36, is adorned with four ribbons and in good condition, apart from slight wearing of the silk, the Osenat auction house said.

With international collectors showing strong interest, Osenat said the price quickly rose from the reserve of 8,000 to 10,000 euros ($9,450 to $11,800) and was snapped up by an unidentified buyer.

In the turmoil of the French Revolution, the shoe ended up in the hands of Marie-Emilie Leschevin, a close friend of the queen's head chambermaid.

Her family held on to it for generations before it came to auction 227 years after her death.

Marie-Antoinette -- born an Austrian archduchess -- was the wife of Louis XVI.

"Let them eat cake," she is often said to have responded when told that peasants were starving because there was no bread.

The royal couple was executed by guillotine during the Terror in 1793 but France continues to be fascinated by Marie-Antoinette.

Last year an exhibition at the Conciergerie, the former Paris prison where she was incarcerated before execution, retraced changes in the representation of the country's last queen through paintings, mangas, films, and even Barbie dolls.

Topics: white-shoe , silk , last queen , Marie-Antoinette , France , Osenat auction house
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