Recently I was watching one of my favorite new TV shows (I don't really LOVE TV....but I do have my favorites on Bravo network as well as PBS stuff....I mostly watch YouTube channels and documentaries and old movies), Million Dollar Decorators which is an unbelievably well-produced show. On the last episode or so, one of the designers was at an artist friend's studio and started to talk about and fawn over a porcelain cup that was molded from a breast. The artist friend eventually explains to her that it belonged to Marie Antoinette, that she used to drink milk from it and that it was molded from her own breasts. Everything is true, EXCEPT the breast cups were not molded from Marie Antoinette's breasts at all. Here is the story taken from a couple websites credited below:
In June 1787, Louis XVI (MA's husband and King of France) surprised Queen Marie Antoinette with a gift - The Laiterie at Rambouillet. Inspired by Rousseau and a desire to return to nature, fanciful dairies were very fashionable among the aristocracy of Europe during the 18th century, but this dairy would surpass all others. As remarkable as the paintings, sculpture and furnishings that adorned the building itself were the porcelain pieces designed to adorn the niches in the antechamber of the Laiterie of the Queen. Neoclassical in design, all of the pieces of the dairy service involved the storage and serving of milk and other dairy products, adhering to the theme of the pleasure dairy - a temple dedicated to milk.
Sixty -five pieces were delivered to Rambouillet in two shipments in 1787 and 1788. Marie Antoinette may have only seen the pieces in the first delivery. Included the 1788 delivery were a set of four Breast cups made for drinking milk from. Famous today because the cups are said to have been molded from the Queen's own breast!
|one of the original breast cups that Marie Antoinette drank milk from.|
|another original breast cup/bowl|
And here is a reproduction you can purchase online here !
|a reproduction of Marie Antoinette's breast cup! that you can buy!|
This is not true as the Dairy and all of it's furnishing and decorative arts was to be a surprise to the Queen. The ideal was the kings but his architects and decorators tuck over with the design and planing. Nevertheless the famous Sèvres porcelain cups are two-part tasting bowls, designed for Marie Antoinette to partake of the farm's fresh milk
The cup is in the shape of a breast painted flesh colored with a pink nipple at the bottom. The porcelain breast rest in a Greek style tripod with the head of goats terminating in hoofed feet. The late 18th century Sèvres breast cups makes reference to the traditional Greek mastos cup (from mastos = breast, udder) itself modeled on a breast!
Pretty amazing. I love it. The designer on the show actually told her artist friend to leave her the breast cup when he dies ("...will you put it in your will?) I mean, it's amazing enough that I might have asked the same thing!
more wednesday wonder ♡ w circus shoot
images from andrewhopkinsart.blogspot.com, http://www.thedessertcourse.com