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CHOCOLATIER. Medal for the Inauguration of the Lille branch of À la Marquise de Sévigné (Médaille de l’Inauguration de la Succursale de Lille de À la Marquise de Sévigné), 1913, miniature
[FRC165]
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CHOCOLATIER.  Medal for the Inauguration of the Lille branch of À la Marquise de Sévigné (Médaille de l’Inauguration de la Succursale de Lille de À la Marquise de Sévigné), 1913, miniature
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Miniature oval silver medal with scroll, eyelet and loop for suspension; the face with the half-length portrait of Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sévigné after Robert Nanteuil within an ornate beaded border; the reverse engraved ‘A / La Marquise / de Sévigné / Inauguration / de la Succursale / de / Lille / 1913’ within an ornate beaded border; height 28.74mm (1.13 inches). The chocolatier À la Marquise de Sévigné had its origins in the Auvergnat spa resort of Royat, founded by Clémentine, daughter of a chocolatier, and Auguste Rouzaud in 1892. In 1898, she sent a box of their finest chocolates to the poet and dramatist Edmond Rostand, best known for his play Cyrano de Bergerac, one of whose plays was being performed at the Casino de Vichy at the time, and who was staying at the Pavillon Sévigné and the destination on the box ‘À la Marquise de Sévigné’ stuck. The Rouzauds were inventive and innovative and also socially and commercially astute and they opened eleven branches between 1900 and 1914, including that in Lille in 1913, and their establishment in the Madeleine in Paris became a meeting place for high society. The company was bought out in 1970 and most of its shops closed but it was rescued in 1973 by the Burrus family of chocolatiers who worked to restore its traditions and reputation and they continue its business to this day. Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sévigné (1626-1696) is renowned for her letters which are full of vivid wit and of historical and literary significance. The portrait on the face of the medal is after the work of about 1670 by Robert Nanteuil and is in the Collection of the Musée Carnavalet, rue de Sévigné, Paris.

 
CHOCOLATIER.  Medal for the Inauguration of the Lille branch of À la Marquise de Sévigné (Médaille de l’Inauguration de la Succursale de Lille de À la Marquise de Sévigné), 1913, miniature
Click to enlarge
CHOCOLATIER.  Medal for the Inauguration of the Lille branch of À la Marquise de Sévigné (Médaille de l’Inauguration de la Succursale de Lille de À la Marquise de Sévigné), 1913, miniature
Click to enlarge
       

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