A.Marque Queens Revisited!
(Click on thumbnail to see a larger picture)I
have long wanted to make my own A.Marque queens, a project I have
described in another page on my website (click here for that page: A.Marques--Part
1). Over the last few years, as I made an A.Marque or two, I
would put them aside, waiting for the time to make the suitable
dresses. I also collected "queen quality" fabrics and
trims. I kept an eye out, too, for the right sized crown. A
queen isn't complete without her crown or tiara, right?
This project was pushed along by my volunteering to give a program at the Land O'Sky luncheon in March 2016. I decided that, even though not too many of us doll collectors can afford A.Marques, we are all fascinated with them and want to know more. I spent a lot of time gathering photos of the antique A.Marques that were known, as well as compiling research from doll experts. It was quite an undertaking but I learned so much! It was nice to have my own representations of the A.Marque queens available as a display for my program.
Here are my own representations of the queens, in historical order. Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.com) has excellent short biographies on each of these important French queens that I highly recommend.
First is Queen Isabeau of Bavaria (1371-1438). She was the wife of Charles VI and mother of Charles VII, the "Dauphin" who Joan of Arc helped to become king of France. Isabeau was reportedly a "clotheshorse" and was as well-known in her time for her attention to fashion as Princess Diana was known in her time. I have her dressed in a patterned silk taffeta, trimmed with rabbit fur, wine taffeta and gold trim.
The second of the A.Marque queens is Queen Marie Leszcynska (1715-1774). She was the wife of Louis XV and the grandmother of Louis XVI. She was much loved for her sweet nature and her concern for the French people. My version of this queen is dressed in rose and gold silk taffeta, trimmed with lace and gold.
The third queen is the famous and ill-fated Marie Antoinette (1755-1793). She was the wife of Louis XVI. She, like Queen Isabeau, was known for her influence on the French fashion industry. Her gold silk underdress is draped with a metallic gold lace overskirt, and enhanced with gold trim and braid.
Empress Josephine, the wife of Napoleon I is the fourth of the A.Marque queens (1763-1814). Her clothing style is based on the narrow silhouette of the Greco-Roman empire and were quite a departure from the voluminous skirts of the A.Marque queens before and after her. Her underdress is an ecru silk, with a gorgeous sequin and pearl encrusted lace overlay. Her cape is a rose silk velvet lined in a deep rose silk. Her gloves are silk knit.
Empress Eugenie (1826-1920) is our final A.Marque queen. She was the wife of Napoleon III. Their meeting and subsequent marriage was like a fairytale. She, in her patronage of the designer, Frederick Worth, changed fashion forever and established Paris even more strongly as the fashion capital of the world. The dress I made for this doll is from a luscious peachy-pink silk satin. It is trimmed with lace and pink tulle, as well as silk flowers. Her gloves are silk knit.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing my dolls. They are truly much prettier in person! I would love to share this program with other doll collectors. Please contact me if you have any interest in my giving this program to your doll club or group.