Picture the scene in the great ballroom at Versailles in 1760. It is a warm evening, the ladies are busy fluttering their fans, the gentlemen are struggling under the weight of their decorated frock coats. The sharp sounds of the dance music on the harpsichord resonates through the throng of dancers. A ladies hand secretly slips something into the concealed pocket in the fold of the man's coat. Later, that same object is returned to her by her handmaiden who got it from his man servant. Now it contains a reply to her love note and also includes a small bottle of her favourite scent. The rendezvous is arranged, later they will meet and ...........................enjoy the evening.
This billet doux was exchanged in such circumstances on many occasions. It looks like a needle case or sewing accessory but that was all part of the deception. It could be kept openly when not in use in her sewing box.
The coquetry of the French upper classes is legendary. The positioning of the beauty spot on their face was a signal to their lovers. They also signaled with their fans. Their poor cuckolded partners had no chance only join the fun.
This rare billet doux is 5 inches in length. It is rare because the decorative covering has only survived in rare museum pieces. It is hand painted wax paper. The ring bands are silver.
It is in fabulous condition and if it could talk...............
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