Coin purse with the arms of Marie-Josèphe de Saxe, dauphine of France

15.000 

France, circa 1750
Silk, metallic strands, green silk velvet, skin
Single-layered and slip stitch embroidery

Provenance

  • This purse bears the arms of the dauphine of France, Marie-Josèphe de Saxe (1731-1767): left ecu (quartered to the one and last of France to two and three gold, right ecu (quartered to the crested azure dolphin and eared of gules, quartered of Poland on the whole fascé of gold and sand of eight pieces with the crancelin debruising on the overall which is of Saxony).

 

Similar example

  • Gambling purse with the arms of Madame Henriette, first half of the 18th century, red velvet embroidered with silver (H. 8.5 cm / D. 9.5 cm), château de Versailles, (Inv. V 48 10)
Category:

France, circa 1750
Silk, metallic strands, green silk velvet, skin
Single-layered and slip stitch embroidery

Provenance

  • This purse bears the arms of the dauphine of France, Marie-Josèphe de Saxe (1731-1767): left ecu (quartered to the one and last of France to two and three gold, right ecu (quartered to the crested azure dolphin and eared of gules right, quartered of Poland on the whole fascé of gold and sand of eight pieces with the crancelin debruising on the overall which is of Saxony).

 

Similar example

  • Gambling purse with the arms of Madame Henriette, first half of the 18th century, red velvet embroidered with silver (H. 8.5 cm / D. 9.5 cm), château de Versailles, (Inv. V 48 10)

 

The sides of the purse receive an alternation of twenty baluster patterns with different designs. Each of them uses a baluster pattern composed of a succession of floral and plant elements with a circular motif integrating the baluster in the upper or lower part depending on the model. Each baluster is underlined by a twisted yellow silk thread.
A braid overlaps the circumference of the purse, overflowing on both the vellum and the velvet. The central decoration of the bottom of the purse receives decoration: the crown of the dolphin, a double ecu of the Dauphiné and of Saxony resting on a cartouche.

Material and techniques

Ecus : blue, red and black silk strands embroidered in a slanted pattern for the azure background. Furniture and pieces, coating of silver threads held in pairs by silk strands forming a bridge.
Crown: embroidery of silver strands. Flowerets and gemstones, strands of green and orange silk at the stitches.
Cartouche: embroidery in relief of silver strands, cannetillas and sequins, coating of silver strands.
Sides: silver strands coating, sequins and cannetillas
The cords are made from several twists of yellow silk strands and silver yarn. Unlike the other models, we will notice the cord which marks the decoration. The quality brought to the execution of these royal purses is thus more striking.

The game at Versailles

While chance games were banned everywhere in the kingdom, they are omnipresent in Versailles. Card games like lansquenet or hombre, games of chance like the portico, games of skills like billiards, gambling is everywhere: in the King’s small apartment, in the large cabinets of the princely apartments, gamble games where some make fortunes while others lose everything. These are mostly card games but also lotto, chess and checkers.
Gambling is a passion and a very popular pastime where cheating is very frowned upon: Louis XIV has sometimes exiled bad players from the court. At the time, people play insane amounts sometimes whole fortunes. The King supports the losses of the royal family and some queens, like Marie Leszczynska and Marie-Antoinette, swallow up enormous amounts.
This type of purse, in common use in the 18th century, was used in chance games to collect gold, silver, mother-of-pearl or tortoiseshell tokens. It was the tradition for the King to offer tokens to his friends on certain occasions such as New Year. Particularly sumptuous, theses coin purses were also provided with the arms of their owners.

Bibliography

Béatrix Saule, Élisabeth Caude, Jérôme de la Gorce, Fêtes & divertissements à la cour, Paris, Coédition Gallimard / Établissement public du château, du musée et du domaine national de Versailles, 2016

Good overall condition, two slight tears on the sides without effect on the usage, some taperings without alterations to the coat of arms

Additional information

Weight 0.80 kg
Dimensions 15 × 15 × 6 cm