When Versailles was Furnished with Silver
Ch√Ęteau de Versailles


The unimaginable wealth of the Sun King, Louis XIV, led him to order the creation of imposing sterling silver furniture for his Grands Appartements, which were finely crafted by the master silversmiths of the day. These spectacular 17th century works, spanning from tables and chairs to mirrors, candelabras and chandeliers, along with human-sized vases and pots, all in that shiny grey precious metal, were intricately worked, strikingly profligate, and sounded the chords of hedonism that were the hallmark of the Court.

Yet these riches were not eternal. When war drummed up in 1689, the royal treasury needed new coin to finance its military efforts. These coveted objects were summarily melted down. So here, today, what we can see in the halls of Versailles with this exhibition are the drafts and drawings of these missing marvels, along with, on loan, still-existent silver furniture pieces from other European courts of the 18th century. A fascinating look into fleeting grandeur.


November 21, 2007 through March 9, 2008
78000 Versailles
T. +33 (0)8 10 81 16 14