Queen Elizabeth has touched millions of lives, and now something she once touched will sell for millions. A set of rare dessert dishes used by the British monarch could fetch over $500,000 at an auction. Initially commissioned by France’s King Louis-Philippe I and made by Sèvres, the official royal plate maker, in 1842, the 98-piece set is truly breathtaking. The Queen used the plates in 1967 during a three-day private tour of the department’s stud farms. She stayed at the chateau de Sassy in Normandy, where she used the unique service only once ( even once is more than enough for a fan).
The Guardian shared information on the handwritten menus for the royal visit that stated the Queen was served fruit pastries for dinner and a mille-feuille omelet for lunch on the plates. Auctioneer Florence Baron-Reverdito said she discovered the porcelain service after being asked to value particular objects at the chateau. “We went from room to room and a member of the family opened this cupboard. At first we had difficulty because it was locked and we had to find the key. Then there was the shock of discovering the service … it was very moving,” Baron-Reverdito said.
“What surprised me was the number of plates –there are 75 – every one with scenes of different animals and all in a perfect state. Even the family was surprised by this service as it appeared to have been never used, except for one lunch and dinner when Queen Elizabeth was invited to the chateau.” In addition to 75 plates, 23 shaped pieces are also part of the collection that includes gold-embellished sugar bowls, fruit bowls, two drum-mounted plates, and more.
“You can see the quality of the gold, the agate-colored background, and the painting of the animals from Africa, Asia, Europe, and America,” Manuela Finaz de Villaine, a ceramics expert, told The Guardian. “They are all different. It’s actually a historical collection documenting the knowledge scientists had at the time of the animals living on these continents.” Before the auction commences on March 28, the dessert service will be displayed for all to swoon over from March 25 to March 27 at Drouot in Paris.