L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The "Coffre d'Anne d'Autriche"

Gold repoussé, chased and filigreed, on a wooden base covered in blue satin.  Mid-seventeenth century.  Collection the Louvre.

Known as the "Coffre d'Anne d'Autriche" - the coffer or casket of Anne of Austria, the wife of Louis XIII and the mother of Louis XIV - the actual origins of this amazing object are unknown.  The first mention of it is from 1729, in a general inventory of the Garde-Meuble (the royal furniture depository).  An estimate for restoration work then appears in 1784 and, in 1791, it is included in the inventories of the French crown jewels.  In 1830, an anonymous note - now lost - was found in the coffer stating that it had been offered by Mazarin to Anne of Austria.  It is unlikely, though, that the trunk ever belonged to the queen as it was not listed in the inventory of her possessions after her death.  It is possible that it could have been given by her son Louis XIV as a wedding present to his bride, the Spanish infanta Marie-Thérèse, in 1660.  But it could also be the coffer he ordered in 1676 to house "the Jewels of the King"; this remarkable work of art would certainly be worthy of such a purpose.

(This image courtesy of the Andrew Hopkins Art blog.)


  1. it's hard to get a sense of scale but in the last picture it looks like it could be quite large!

  2. If I could have one please in Silver with an under-layer of green velvet I would be well pleased, my own self.