Home News Louis XVI scarf fetches EUR 70,000

Louis XVI scarf fetches EUR 70,000

Published on 22/01/2004

LOCHES, France, Jan 21 (AFP) - A scarf worn by France's King Louis XVI before he was guillotined during the French Revolution was bought at auction Wednesday for EUR 70,000 (USD 88,000) by a French-American family.

The family whose identity has not been revealed bid by telephone for the white linen scarf known at the time as a cravate.

“It’s a historic auction, a world record” for a piece of historic clothing, said auctioneer Philippe Rouillac who chose January 21 for the sale as it marks the anniversary of the king’s guillotining in 1793.

A shirt of Napoleon’s was once sold for EUR 60,000.

“It will be kept alternatively in France and New York,” he added.He said the buyers were a “large Franco-American family attached to the royal family who through this gesture wanted to recall to the French and Americans the decisive part played by Louis XVI” for the United States’ independence.

The starting price at auction for the scarf had been EUR 5,000. The sale was held at the town hall in this central French town which proved too small for the interest shown in its fate.

The scarf, 160 centimetres by 76 centimetres, has turned yellow over time and been much mended. It was worn by the king during his stay at Temple prison in central Paris.

Few items belonging to Louis XVI, who was married to Marie-Antoinette, have survived.

Papers in possession of the family that sold the scarf said the monarch “untied this cravate from his neck on leaving for execution and gave it to Monsieur Vincent as a souvenir and reward, not having anything else”.

His co-prisoner, an entrepreneur and advisor was executed a year later, accused of hiding the scarf which was preciously kept by his widow and descendants.

The last owners decided to sell it because of disagreements at the time of inheriting it.


                                Subject: France news