1862 Empress Eugénie in dark dress

Empress Eugénie sits in a dark dress in this 1862 portrait.

I saw it mentioned as her being in mourning for her sister Paca, but Paca died in 1860. Webshots commenter fan2jrc pointed out the mourning period for a sister was two months and noted, "Moreover Eugénie couldn't be in mourning here, because in french mourning, no jewels, and especially no pearls : only "jais mat"! ( = matt jet, a black stone, not glossy) In fact, I've meanwhile found a scan of this portrait, in best quality, and there you can see the true colour of the dress and of the ermine coat : it's not black, but dark blue! (Like the gem on the tiara, it's a big sapphire!) And in the old Eugénie's biography by Octave Aubry (in french), I've read that this portrait of her sister was Paca's favorite one, and Paca had it in her bedroom when she died! But I didn't manage to know where it is today..."

Posted on the Alexander Palace Time Machine Discussion Forum by Martyn on 3 June 2007.

Keywords:  1862, Empress Eugénie, Empress, Bonaparte family, French, straight coiffure, tiara, veil, vee neckline, vee waistline, crinoline, flounces, lace, earrings, bracelets

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