Chocolate in 18th century was an exotic drink for aristocrats and wealthy bourgeois. Like its sisters, coffee and tea, and every food and drink in the 18th century, it had its own pot. In the court of Louis XV, it was considered an aphrodisiac. He liked it so much that he had a room specifically for making his own coffee and chocolate for himself and his friends in the Petits Appartements in Versailles.
Here’s a recipe for chocolate from Menon’s Les Soupers de la Cour ou l’Art de travailler toutes sortes d’aliments pour servir les meilleurs tables suivant les quatre saisons (1755):
Did you know that Louis XV was a great enthusiast for all things scientific? He took passionate interests in geography, astronomy, botany, and physics, just to name a few.. A giant, exotic animal with a thick hide and a horn was a gift fit for this king-scientist.
Here are some of the highlights from the recent Christie’s sale, “Taste of the Royal Court: Important French Furniture and Works of Art from a Private Collection,” which took place on 9 July 2015 in London.
A bureau en pente with the most stunning and rare blue vernis martin.
WHAT. A. BLUE.
A giltwood fauteuil en bergère created for Marie-Antoinette for the salon of Pavillon du Belvédère at the Petit Trianon, sold for the very modest price of $2.7 million (about 5 times the estimated price)
A Chinese crackle-glazed celadon with French gilt bronze mount that belonged to Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen (1738-1822). Love, love, love these hybrid creatures..
And a table clock with calendar, moonphase, equation of time and terrestrial “sphère mouvante.” A dream come true for an aficionado of all things horological and astronomical, such as me!
Click here to learn more of these and other objects in the sale.