Stilled Sentiments

The lost jewellery of a queen

In 1850 our first Belgian queen Louise-Marie d’Orléans died. Her Estate Inventory, a document kept in the State Archives of Belgium, describes and values the 300 jewellery items she owned at the time of her death. More than a hundred of those are so-called sentimental jewellery pieces. They are carriers of memories and sentiments, which were incorporated as miniature portraits, human locks of hair, engraved messages, and so on.

 

Since almost all of Louise’s jewellery has gone lost, the Inventory functions as an exclusive carrier of the pieces, just as the pieces were carriers of sentiments. Based on the descriptions, Louise’s sentimental jewellery, which was on the verge of oblivion, is reactivated from a contemporary point of view. The newly created objects construct an alternative version of the myth around Louise-Marie d’Orléans and will bring this somehow forgotten queen closer to today’s audience.

Click (single click on desktop, dubble click on mobile) on the images to see more of every piece.

© 2021 by Charlotte Vanhoubroeck

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