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April: a tribute to Queens – a beautiful mess

Hi diners! Welcome back to the second April post: a beautiful mess. I thought of this table a few years ago, its a bit whimsical in nature, so note its a bit different than most of my tables. This is a Marie Antoinette tablescape, intended to demonstrate events of the time and circumstances: both beautiful and messy.

I’ve always been interested in the Baroque era and Marie Antoinette. She is often vilified for her real or perceived role in the French Revolution (among many other events), in fact, she was nothing more than a product of her time and lineage. The youngest female (of 16) to the Emperor and Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, she was married -in absentia- at the age of 14. She travelled from Austria to France to a disinterested 15 year-old husband, to a country who did not like the idea of an Austrian Queen, and a court of disparaging couturiers, she was very young and very much alone. She was crowned Queen consort at the age of 18.

Born into extreme wealth she was the product of an era of luxury, finery, extravagance, and debauchery that defined the aristocrats, juxtaposed to the poverty, disease, starvation, yet wholesomeness of the European peasants. It was a beautiful mess.

My hand-painted, whimsical attempt at Marie Antoinette’s beautiful monogram.

Imagine as Marie Antoinette and her Ladies enjoy champagne and treats while dressmakers, lace makers, and jewelers bring their items, all hoping to win the favor of the Queen. Each to be cast aside in a frivolous manner as it suited them, leaving others to clean up.

An old Baroque-era French card game Le jeu du nain Jaune.

I gathered together some of my favorite treasures for this table-scape. Here a Florentine tray and nesting tables, and an Ostrich feather fan.

The baroque era (1600-1750) known for mixing of beautiful prints and patterns. In this a harlequin topper and beautiful floral tablecloth. And lots of gold, Versailles Palace was and many of its items were gold or covered in gold gilt.

This table of discarded treats was a tough one. I personally had to eat many of these items to achieve this look! Oh, how we suffer for our art.

Some French macarons from Lady Yum: macarons and mischief. Seems fitting for our whimsical table. You can get these delicious treats directly from:

In keeping with the dichotomy of Versailles, a mouse family waits for some scraps.

Thanks for joining in the chaos today! Please feel free to comment and share with others who might enjoy some beautiful tables, messy or otherwise. Be sure to check out the May posts, featuring a Kentucky Derby table, I promise this one will be a bit more tidy. Until then, enjoy something beautiful, ~d

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