The King's Cabinet of Medals
Practical information :
La Librairie des Princes
Opened every day except on Monday
1st April to 31 October: 10.30 am to 6.30 pm
1st November to 31 March: 9.30 am to 5.30 pm
Palace of Versailles, Place d’Armes - 78000 Versailles
Accessible freely via the Palace Royal courtyard.
The museum’s reserve collections hold many medals bearing witness to Versailles’ history over the centuries. To publicise them, the Palace invited the Maison Arthus-Bertrand to go through its numismatics archives. The workshops thus created 17 medals that have been reproduced in exact replicas of the originals or reinterpreted in keeping with period engravings.
Three of them, reflecting the exhibition “The King is Dead” currently presented at the Palace of Versailles, are reproductions of portraits of Louis XIV at the ages of 5 years, 22 years and 46 years.
The medals pf this collection were inspired by the medals made by Benjamin Duvivier, general engraver of the currencies from 1774 to 1791.All the medals and tokens are in silvered or gilded bronze and struck with a special mark ensuring the origin and quality of their French production.
Drawing on its unique know-how and the meticulous work of its artisans, the Maison Arthus-Bertrand produces high-quality medals in gold, silver and bronze in France. While the human touch remains its main added value, Arthus-Bertrand is also proud of the finest modern production techniques it uses. Its craftsmen – engravers, setters and enamellers – work on every piece with scrupulous attention paid to the details.
In 1684, Louis XIV had a Cabinet of Medals installed in his interior apartments at Versailles, which contained his famous collection of ancient coins and medals in a chest of drawers. This cabinet, which no longer exists, was situated in the King Louis XVI's Games Salon, near the Abundance Salon.