Le Figaro: "Marie-Antoinette's porcelain recovered 37 years after theft".

18 April 2024 Press review
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An ewer and a basin, estimated at between 50,000 and 100,000 euros, given by the Queen to her governess have just been recovered by the police. They will be returned to the owner of the Château de Thoiry in the next few days.

Marie-Antoinette's tableware is colored a rare celestial blue. According to Paul de La Panouse, "Barely twenty porcelains on Earth have had the privilege of this blue". D.R.

"What a thrill, but what a thrill!" confided Paul de La Panouse to the newspaper Le Parisien. The owner of Château de Thoiry has just recovered a porcelain ewer and basin, given by Marie-Antoinette to her governess, stolen 37 years ago by three thieves.

"With this theft, I had unwillingly become the failing link in the family chain of transmission," says the 80-year-old owner. Paul de La Panouse is a distant descendant of the Duchesse de Tourzel, governess to the children of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette in 1789.

The precious crockery was returned to its former owner by the police. After the theft, the objects had returned to the legal market. The buyer, who wished to remain anonymous, had taken care to have them appraised, in order to ascertain whether the ewer and basin were not on a list of missing cultural objects. The objects were then entrusted to an auctioneer. The expert in charge of examining the porcelains contacted the Office central de lutte contre le trafic de biens culturels, who confirmed that they had been stolen.

In good faith, the owner agreed to return them to the Château de Thoiry, a real relief for Paul de La Panouse. An investigation is underway to try and trace the various sales over the last 37 years, and perhaps catch the culprits. The value of the crockery is estimated at between 50,000 and 100,000 euros. That "about twenty porcelains on Earth have had the privilege of this blue ", asserts Paul de La Panouse.

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By Simon Pierre

Published April 18, 2024

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