A coffee with an awning of Pompadour

“L’ALIBI della Domenica” is dedicated to a very valuable coffee grinder.

A few years ago – ten years have already passed! – I managed the broadcast “Hurry up!” from Popular radio called a small phone book “Workshop of the Muses”. I visited bookstore of museums in search of souvenir more curious and strange. I still take a trip today, although I usually just buy books.

The The Louvre in Paris has more than one store to cater to the needs of visitors and tourists from all over the world. On one of my recent visits (I try to go there at least once a year: to the museum, not the store!) I bought a pack of 10. coffee capsulescompatible with the known trademark who invented this extraction formula.

In addition to my passion for coffee, it drove me to buy the fame of Alain Ducasse – That chef with the largest number stars Michelin: currently has 20! – and above all the curiosity for Marquess of Pompadour.

The following text can be read on the packaging in French and English:

In 1721, Louis XV’s favorite, Madame de Pompadour, was born. His coffee grinder, exhibited in the Louvre, inspired the chef Alain Ducasse to create the blend from 1721. An initial journey, from the discovery of coffee in Ethiopia to Brazil with the Bourbon variety, coffee from the royal court, the most cultivated in the country until today, and ended up in Panama with the Geisha variety, which is considered the jewel of cafes. Good taste”.

A museum mill

The coffee grinder is depicted on the front of the packaging, the sides of which on the other hand show enlargements of the decorations that adorn it.

It was made of gold (the crank is in steel with the handle in ivory) in the middle of the 18th century (between 1756 and 1757) in Paris fromgoldsmith Jean-Charles Ducrolay. It is exhibited in the department of medieval, renaissance and modern art, precisely in room 614 – the Louis XV Gallery – located on the first floor of the Sully Wing, or the “square” of the museum that connects ali Richelieu (on the Rue de Rivoli) and Denon (toward the Seine).

To the figure of Jeanne-Antoinette named Reinette (Queen) Poisson, Marquess of Pompadourone of the most exciting chapters in “Lovers and queens. Women’s Power” from Benedetta Craveripublished by Adelphi in 2005. It is called “Marquise of Pompadour. A Bourgeois in Power” and in about thirty pages he follows the life and career at court Louis XV’s favorite. Just at the time when the coffee grinder was being manufactured, the sovereign suffered an attack that threatened to cost him his life.

Damien’s attack once again gave the Marquise the sense of the fragility of her position. On January 5, 1757, around six in the evening, as he was about to get into the carriage, Louis XV was stabbed by a fanatic who had slipped in among the people in his entourage. Believing that his life was in danger, the king confessed, begged the family’s forgiveness, handed over the supplies to the dolphin, then ordered the curtains drawn for his bed and for several days, even though the doctors had declared him out. out of danger he shut himself up, hid himself behind the most complete silence”.

Louis XV would have lived another seventeen years (until 10 May 1774), while Madame de Pompadour would have died seven years later in April 1764, at the age of forty-two, almost half of which she lived as the king’s favourite.

PS: the cups you see in the picture do not come from the Louvre’s workshop. I bought them in Venice, a stone’s throw from the Arsenale. But that’s another story…

Saul Stucchi

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