Drinking Champagne Out of Marie Antoinette's Breast (or, the history of champagne glasses)

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,

The history of champagne glasses

The small bowl, or saucer shaped champagne glass (called a coupe) is often claimed to be modeled on the left breast of the famed French aristocrat Marie Antoinette (1721-1793).

Known as the extravagant wife of King Louis XVI, and the women who shouted "let them eat cake" (losing her head soon after), it is said that she had these delicate glasses made so that her courtiers could drink to her health from them. 

Though there is no way that she was actually the inventor of this type of glass (champagne was invented in the 17th century and the coupe was created in England in 1663), there is historical evidence that she did have porcelain bowls molded from her breast to drink milk out of.

Even though there is no evidence for it, it isn't too far of a stretch to think that champagne may have been drank out of other breast shaped vessels if milk was... is it?

Ms. Antoinette is not the only famous historical lady that has been rumoured to be the source of some shapely drink-ware.

Two of King Louis XV's mistresses (Madame du Pompadour and Madame du Barry) are said to have created glasses from their breasts for the King's lips only. Napoleon's wife, the Empress Josephine is rumoured to have created bosom glassware for her own personal use, while Helen of Troy allegedly allowed Paris to make wax molds of her breasts to turn into coupe's for his own pleasure. 

Whether these rumours come from truth, drunken observations, or men's champagne-induced fantasies, is something we may never prove (but that doesn't mean it isn't a fun bit of trivia to share at dinner parties!)

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