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RCIN 39497

George IV had an especially keen interest in the history of France under the Bourbons and earlier dynasties, and he assembled a gallery of biscuit figures of the kings of France, ranging from Louis XII to Louis XVIII. Of the busts only a pair, of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, survive in the Royal Collection.

Here Marie-Antoinette wears a diadem on her head and a string of pearls in her hair.

Busts in biscuit porcelain of the King and Queen were produced throughout their reign and modelled by a variety of sculptors. The matt white surface of the unglazed and undecorated porcelain resembles flawless marble. This pair, modelled by the sculptor Louis-Simon Boizot, dates from 1785. Often sold as pairs, many featured in the end-of-year sales held at Versailles.

Text adapted from French Porcelain for English Palaces, Sèvres from the Royal Collection, London, 2009

    The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.