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Marie Antoinette, Big Hair and moi (Part III)

These poufs, no doubt, were impossible to wash and provided a bit of a breeding ground for bugs. Special head-scratchers called grattoirs were made from ivory, silver and gold. Women gracefully slid the flattened, slightly curved end of the stick up into their do for a graceful, discrete scratch.

Christie’s, Paris, April 2006





The reign of the three Louis Louis Louis is synonymous with everything elaborate, dramatic and no doubt dazzling. Not one object – even utilitarian – seems to have escaped the court unadorned or under embellished. Shopkeepers, hairstylists and menuisiers benefited from this extravagance (while peasants paid the price). So why would a hair dressing chair be ignored? A variety was created, in different forms and from different materials. Fauteuils Ă  coiffer, as they were called, were comfortable. They had to be, women had to sit in them for long hours. Cushioned during the winter months and caned for the summer, they were indented back to facilitate the fixing of a lady's do.

Christie’s, London, April 10, 2002

Sotheby's, Paris, France, June 14, 2006


Christie's, London, United Kingdom, December 14, 2005,
by Antoine Nicolas Delaporte, circa 1775