The Bet on the Bagatelle

Each of the objects depicted in this drawing was designed specifically for the Pavilion de Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne, in Paris, a royal pleasure palace. Though the andirons bear Queen Marie Antoinette’s initials these objects were not made for her, but rather for her brother-in-law, the Comte d’Artois. In 1777, in a one hundred thousand francs bet, the Queen challenged Artois to build a bagattella, meaning trifle or folly, in two months, just in time to receive the court returning to Paris from their summer sojourn at Fontainbleau.
Andiron, Sconce, bronze, Bagatelle, paris, drawing, Jean Démosthène Dugourc, François-Joseph Belanger