It was in 1767, in Versailles, that Louis XV signed the patent letter that would appoint Cristalleries Saint-Louis as a royal manufacturer. This precious document, which to this day is kept in the Saint-Louis archives, bears witness to the ties between the two places, renewed through the ages and through the pieces (such as the King's Hall, Trianon, Versailles and Tommy collections).
The Queens' Hall collection, stemming from a lineage which rings out as clearly as the glass itself, is a new testament to the bond between the Palace of Versailles and Saint-Louis. It offers a playful tribute to four queens who left their mark on the palace - Maria Theresa of Austria, Marie Leszczynska, Marie-Antoinette of Austria and Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily.
There are four glasses in clear crystal, a tribute to the four queens who lit up Versailles. Generously proportioned with lines evocative of the Kings' Hall goblets, for a royal pas de deux. In a range of sizes, these draw from the decorative styles in fashion under each reign, outlining the full array of Saint-Louis' expertise. They form a crown when viewed from above.
Short, sturdy and ringed legs, allowing for optimal ergonomics: easy to use and grasp, for use with water or wine. Bases are decorated with the regnal number (Royal Monogram) for each queen, and the Palace of Versailles x Saint-Louis sea, symbolising a renewed bond.
When crystal has its own part to play, in the game and art of conversation: the crown outlined by the cut of the glass appears while the drink is drunk, and the identity of the queen is revealed at the end of the meal, her regnal number being stamped under the base of the glass.
Maria Theresa glass with fine, deep bevel cuts, stamped with “MT” / Maria Theresa Louis XIV.
Maria Theresa of Austria (1638-1683) was an Infanta of Spain, the “Empire on which the sun never sets”. She would become Queen of France at the side of Louis XIV, bringing the Spanish court’s joy and flair for life into the Palace of Versailles.
The sun-like crown, outlined through bevelled cuts, harks back to these early days of Versailles, an era of splendour and celebration.
Marie Leszczynska glass, with a fine bevelled cut, stamped with “ML” / Marie Leszczynska Louis XV.
Marie Leszczynska (1703-1768), a queen who was a painter and a polyglot, reigned alongside Louis XV. She strongly influenced the artistic life of her era, which was characterised by the Rocaille style.
Bringing to mind the shells that are associated with the Rocaille style, the Marie Leszczynska glass motifs also evoke the fireworks from this period of delight and rejoicing.
Marie-Antoinette glass, shaped with straight cuts and bevelled cords, stamped with “MA” / Marie-Antoinette Louis XVI.
Marie-Antoinette of Austria (1755 - 1793), a strong woman with a tragic destiny, inspired the artistic avant-garde of her day. She reigned at the side of Louis XVI.
Cut into the glass are ears of wheat reminiscent of the countryside; this is an allusion to the queen’s taste for antiquity, and to the picking gardens she had planted at Versailles.
Maria-Amelia glass, shaped with straight edge cuts and a bevelled cord, stamped with “MAM” / Maria-Amalia and Louis-Philippe.
Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily (1782 - 1866), the last queen of the French people, distinguished herself through her commitment to charity. She reigned over the French people at the side of Louis-Philippe, and opened a museum with him in the Palace of Versailles.
The côtes plates (flat cuts) embellishing the Maria Amalia glass are reminiscent of knights’ helmets, linking the collection to the Crusades Hall in the Palace’s Historic Galleries, which were inaugurated by this queen. It’s also a nod to the strength of her commitment to charity, and to her affinity with the neo-medieval style that was fashionable in her era.