monogramed 'Mysterious Urn', center funerary urn and weeping willow roundel; concealed profiles of French royal family; border sepia; the central design is known as L'urne mystérieuse, after a print of the same title

"L'urne mystérieuse" plate with initials "S.D.M." for the French market, c. 1800

Unknown artist, expand_more

Porcelainexpand_more

Gift of Leo and Doris Hodroffexpand_more  2005.159.7

G209expand_more

The central design on this plate is known as L'urne mystérieuse, after an unsigned engraving of the same title published in 1793. The urn's support column forms the outline of the faces of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette of France. The face of their son, the Dauphin, is silhouetted by the branch of the willow tree on the left and the profile of the Madame Royale, the king's mother, is formed by the willow branches on the upper right. All four members of the French royal family were executed during the French Revolution; the willow tree, urn, and hidden portraits symbolize death, mourning, and continued allegiance to the monarchy.

Details
Title
"L'urne mystérieuse" plate with initials "S.D.M." for the French market
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2005.159.7
Curator Approved

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monogramed 'Mysterious Urn', center funerary urn and weeping willow roundel; concealed profiles of French royal family; border sepia; the central design is known as L'urne mystérieuse, after a print of the same title