Carnet de bal portrait of Duc d'Enghien Bourbon-Condé and Bathilde d'Orléans
Era: Late 18th century.
Materials: gold, ivory, composite material.
Dim: H 9 cm/ L 5 cm/ D 1 cm.
Gold marks: reinspection marks from a later date.
Trapezoid-shaped tablet case or dance card in orange-red composite material (plundered fish scales, binder and pigments) set in a finely chased gold frame. The lower part is decorated with two exquisitely crafted miniatures on ivory: on one side, the portrait of a young man Louis Antoine de Bourbon-Condé, Duc d'Enghien, with powdered and knotted hair, wearing a red suit and blue vest; on the other side, the portrait of a young elegant woman, probably his mother, Princess Bathilde d'Orléans. This young woman wears a light, low-cut dress with exposed shoulders. Her natural hair is up in a bun, roses and a headband adorn her coiffure. These miniatures are framed by a gold frame chased with flower motifs. On both sides, the upper part bears an openwork gold inscription "souvenir d'amitiés". The case opens on a hinge and holds two ivory tablets joined by a gold rivet. Circa 1770.Restoration of composite materials.
Princess Bathilde d'Orléans was not on good terms with her Bourbon-Condé husband, and the marriage failed. She turned her affections to her son Louis Antoine de Bourbon-Condé, Duc d'Enghien, who was shot by Napoleon in a ditch at Château de Vincennes. The young man in the powdered wig on the reverse is indeed the Duc d'Enghien painted by SCHILLY in the Versailles collections. Presumably, the young lady depicted on the other side is not Charlotte de Rohan-Rochefort - the prince's love - since we are under Louis XVI (1780), but the prince's mother, Princess Bathilde, who may have had this beautiful object made as a token of friendship.