Throughout history, the jewelry box was not just any box. It was as prized as the jewelry inside, a symbol of status and power. Well, if you look at some of the famous jewelry boxes in history, you can see why. Mammoth boxes made with skill and expert craftsmanship, innumerable drawers and intricate designs, these babies were definitely keepsakes. And guess what; it wasn’t just the queens who treasured these exquisite creations, but also the kings, who wore quite a bit of jewelry back then.
For an Indian king during the Cheran, Cholan, and Pandian period, special jewelry boxes or armoires used to be created to match the jewelry that would go in them. And of course, what would we Indians do without our ostentatious tendencies? During special occasions, these boxes and their jewelry would be kept on display for everyone to see.
However, we’re here to talk about a particular jewelry box that caught our attention. Once it belonged to a woman of impressive repute, but this box is now just an empty shell of the riches it held once; a ghost of opulence past. We’re referring to Marie Antoinette, the famous Austrian queen of France, with a tragic life-story that would move the best of us. Her extravagant tastes and lavish style in her years as queen are spoken of extensively. It’s said that she used to order 300 new dresses each year. Yep, you got that right.
Her jewelry box, which looks like an entire wardrobe, is still showcased in her boudoir at the Palace of Versailles. The box was gifted to her by the famously called “Art Carpenter”, Jean-Ferdinand-Schwerdfeger. Marie Antoinette’s love for intricately carved furniture and her jewelry is famous through history. Her jewelry is priced at millions of dollars today, and such extravagance, although contributing to her death, definitely deserved such a monumental home. Pictures of her signature, gravity-defying hair do and her flowing ball gowns transport us to an era long past, but wonderfully fantastical.
We know better than underestimating the enchantment of jewelry. If Marie Antoinette, arguably the most famous queen of France, could be enchanted by her collection enough to warrant it whole cabinets in different castles, then so can you (without the silly castles, of course.)
Well, having a jewelry box like Marie Antoinette’s is no small feat; it’s too big for this age, cumbersome to carry around, very attractive for little kids to play hide and seek in, and altogether out of place for this era. Women these days aren’t idle; they work, they take on the challenging role of a home maker, they travel, they are entrepreneurs, and are very selective in what they want. They still want to get in touch with their royal nature, however. Yep, we believe that there’s a fashionable queen tucked away in every woman. Jewelry simply fuels this predisposition for elegance, and there isn’t any rule that says that you still can’t get the royal feeling when you organize your jewelry collections. Instead of having to dig through your nest of bunched up necklaces, you can now pick out your valuable piece without hassles, just like any queen would. All hail the modern jewelry box!
If you want to get in touch with your regal side, look for a box that has deep, rich colours that were preferred by the kings and queens of the ages, and which compliment your jewelry, but watch out for the quality too. Choose material that is durable and of course, splendid to the touch and sight. Select a design that is able to effectively organize your valuables, and get ready to feel like a modern day Antoinette with all that elegance.
Or you could just lounge around the Palace of Versailles pretending you own it. Whatever floats your boat!