Elegant Pastimes, Sewing and Palais Royal.
In the late 18th Century the Duke of Orleans, Louis Philippe, owner of the Paiais Royal in Paris decided to build a grand arcade in the grounds to including smart exclusive shops and cafes. The Arcade very soon grew popular with all classes of society, attracting nobility, gamblers and thieves alike. The arcade survived the revolution and during the Directoire and Empire periods was as frequented as always.
Workshops producing the expensive and elegant wares to be sold in the shops soon sprung up in the area. One of the many products that were made here were sewing boxes, etui, and accessories for sewing, and became known as 'Palais Royal' items.
The making of tapestries, samplers and small elegant embroidered items was throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries considered a suitable pastime for ladies of the upper classes. Pieces made at the Palais Royal for needlework were many and varied, usually with gilt metal, precious stones and especially mother of pearl. These small expensive pieces were highly desired by Ladies of the Regency period in England and continue to be collected to this day.
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