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La distinction d’une élite sociale par l’habit au siècle des Lumières. Les maréchaux de France et leur garde-robe

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Author(s): Simon Surreaux

Journal: Apparence(s) : Histoire et Culture du Paraître
ISSN 1954-3778

Issue: 4;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: France | 18th century | French Court | aristocracy | Marshals | clothes | probate inventories | France | vêtements | cour de France | 18e siècle | aristocratie | maréchaux | inventaires après décès

ABSTRACT
L’étude de la garde-robe des maréchaux de France au xviiie siècle peut servir de prisme à l’étude des différences de fortune, de mode de vie et de distinction entre ces grands officiers de la couronne. Les maréchaux de France avaient pour fonction de commander en chef les armées. Au xviiie siècle, jusqu’à l’obtention du maréchalat, leur carrière fut essentiellement militaire. Parmi les quatre-vingt titulaires de cette dignité, nombreux furent ceux qui obtinrent des charges curiales, de gouvernement, des missions, des honneurs et des distinctions. Ils participèrent à nombre de cérémonies au cours du siècle et furent des acteurs de la vie à Versailles ou dans les châteaux royaux. Titulaires d’une dignité unique qui les rapprochait, les écarts de fortune n’en étaient pas moins grands entre un maréchal duc et pair de France et un marin oublié. Il s’agit de proposer une approche générale puis comparée de leur garde-robe, comprenant l’ensemble des vêtements possédés au moment de leur décès.The Dress Code of a Social Elite during the French Enlightenment. The Marshals of France and their Wardrobes - The study of the wardrobe of the Marshals of France during the 18th century is likely to be an indication of discrepancies in wealth, ways of life and distinctions between the Great officers of the crown. The Marshals of France were commanders-in-chief of the military forces. From the 18th century to their being granted the title of marshals, their carriers were mainly military ones. A large number of the eighty-four holders of this title were allowed to work in governmental or diplomatic fields. They were honored and conferred distinctions as well. They took part in many ceremonies and were prominent figures of life in Versailles or royal castles. They held a unique title that created a bond between them. However, discrepancies in wealth were nonetheless drastic. For instance, a Marshal, who was also a duke and peer of France, had nothing to do with a forgotten sailor. A broad approach to the wardrobe they owned when they died, followed by a comparative study of the latter, will be analyzed.
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