Marie Antoinette's €43,225 shoes beat estimate by 764.5%
A pair of Marie Antoinette's shoes brought €43,225 at an auction in Toulon, France
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Thursday 29 March 2012
A pair of shoes owned by the queen consort of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, was sold at an auction of French Revolution era artefacts in Toulon, France, last weekend. The size 3½ silk mules with high heels featured tri-coloured ribbons and were understandably worn, considering their age.
The shoes sold for €43,225 (around $57,350), approximately 14 times their valuation of €3,000-5,000.
Antoinette is often remembered for being a fashion obsessive. Her excessive spending on clothes, accessories and hairstyles earned her the nickname "Madame Deficit" for spending over twice her allotted clothing allowance. It is believed that the queen's wardrobe purchases were restricted to 36 dresses for the summer and 36 for winter, though she always purchased many more.
It is thought by some experts that Antoinette's overspending contributed to the French Revolution by fuelling popular discontent, however the Queen's love of lavish clothing has ensured she has since become a muse to fashion designers around the world.
The auctioneers behind the sale believe that the white, silk mules were worn by Marie Antoinette during the Fête de la Fédération on July 14, 1790 - the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille and the first ever Bastille Day celebration.
These aren't the most expensive shoes to sell at auction. In 2000, one of five known pairs of ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz sold for $666,000 at Christie's. Last summer, another pair, this time from Debbie Reynolds' collection of Hollywood memorabilia made $627,300.
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