[TIDBITS] The Mistress and the Parure

T h e M i s t r e s s a n d t h e P a r u r e.

Parure, for those very few out there who don’t know what it
means, is the word used to describe a matching set of jewels. And
our Mistress, our heroine if you will, had a wondrous parure
which she wore in her heyday, which was back in the mid 1700’s.
Most, if not all of you, have heard her name. I will tell it to
you at the end of my tale. HEY YOU! NOW CUT THAT OUT. NO
trust anyone these days.

Anyway…back in the 1700’s, many diamonds, before being set in
jewels, were backed by colored foil in order to enhance the
appearance of the finished piece. Our Mistress–she was of lower
birth, by the way–through her wit and charm, became mistress of
King Louis XV of France. And her parure had diamonds which had
been foiled to reflect pink and green and yellow.

She was a remarkable beauty, our Mistress was. Which is as it
should be, don’t you think? She was tall, with a perfect figure,
a clear complexion, and chestnut hair. The foiled diamonds she
wore were of the highest cut and quality, assuring her and her
admirers that they would twinkle well by candlelight. Her jewelry
often formed bouquets of magnificent flowers to which were then
added birds and butterflies on wires which sparkled animatedly
in the aforesaid candlelight. Fact is, some of these jewels are
today alive and well in private Russian collections.

Now then…I know I know…all of you are clamoring to see one of
these wondrous pieces of jewelry with tinted foiled diamonds. Not
to fret my friends. I’m putting a graphic up for all of you to
see. But first…onward with the tales of our Mistress…or
rather…Louis’ Mistress. No offense Lou…okay?

Much of Louis’ court did not like his mistress. The dauphin
didn’t like her. The aristocrats didn’t like her. And the Jesuits
didn’t like her. Too bad on them…cuz ol’ Louis liked her. In
fact, he liked her so much that he often ceded his power to her,
and allowed her to establish ascendency over him. Let me tell you
something, this broad had influence over the throne of
France…and that ain’t nothing to sniff at…especially when you
remember the fact that she was of common birth.

Alas…lust wanes as it is occasionally wont to do…and by 1751
Louis and his mistress weren’t doing the wild thing anymore. But
she never-the-less maintained her power, and her jewels, and
Louis and her remained fast friends until her death in 1764.

Her name folks…Madame de Pompadour. And if you want to see an
example of the type of jewelry laden with colored foiled
diamonds that was prevalent in her day…come on down to my home
page… and scroll down the tables menu till you hit
TIDBITS…and Tidbit Graphics…and click…and thar she’ll be.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.

Take care,
Benjamin Mark

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