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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Affair of the Necklace

This is a complicated story, but one with great political effect in 18th Century France. King Louis XV commissioned a very expensive diamond necklace from the jewelers, Boehmer and Bassenge, for his mistress, Madame Du Barry. Louis the XV died before the necklace was completed and Madame Du Barry was removed from the scene. The jewelers then tried to sell it to the new king and queen, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, but they refused. Then along came a woman by the name of Jean de Saint-Remy de Valois whose claim to fame was that she was the daughter of the illegitimate son of an earlier French king. She became the mistress of Cardinal Rohan who aspired to become a minister of the king. Jean de Valois and her husband concocted a plot in which she duped Cardinal Rohan into arranging a fictitious purchase of the necklace by Queen Marie Antoinette without the queen's knowledge. Jean de Valois' husband took the necklace out of France where it was broken up and the parts were sold off for large sums of money. When the jewelers tried to collect their commission from the queen, she refused to pay saying she knew nothing about the fictitious sale. Cardinal Rohan and the other people involved in the affair were arrested and there was a sensational trial. Cardinal Rohan was eventually aquitted. The queen then lost favor with the people because she appeared to be frivolous. This ended up being one of a number of factors leading to the French Revolution.
The necklace in the picture is not the one in the Affair and is not diamond. You can find an assortment of necklaces at Beadshaper and at Metal Jewelry Shaper. You can also purchase Rose's necklaces at various art shows in California. See Classes and Shows for upcoming shows

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