Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sorbet Anyone? A Royal Dessert

In January my husband reminded me that an exhibit at the High Museum of Art would soon be closing and he wanted to have the chance to see it.  It was such an odd thing for him to mention. He generally does not enjoy museums and in fact when we travel together I carefully plan our itinerary to include museum visits in small doses.  So what was the exhibit?  Habsburg Splendor, a collection of masterpieces, costumes and objet d’art from the Habsburg dynasty.  I love the High Museum of Art and I maintain a membership there so of course I jumped at the opportunity to enjoy a night at the museum.

What an interesting exhibit and there were several items of interest but the one item that captivated me and my husband was a centerpiece for sorbets.  Various sea shells including bonnet snail shells were made into cameo serving pieces. The piece was in a case but I did my best to get photos. Can you imagine what it took to make this item?  I wonder how many shells were broken in the process.  

Official photo from the High Museum

I was on the floor looking up to capture the cameo on the underneath part of the shell. 
Nearly everyone was captivated by this item.
Just a few weeks after our trip to the museum my husband and I visited Versailles.  It was our first time to visit and in some ways I was disappointed.  It seemed so plain and I couldn’t figure out if it seemed plain because Hollywood has glamourized the life and times of Marie Antoinette or had my visit to Peterhof Palace minimized my view?  I’m not really sure but I’m happy that we finally had a chance visit Versailles. 


  1. What a lovely piece of art. Sorbets were commonly served between heavy courses, as often in France today, to give your stomach time to settle!

  2. What a magnificent piece!
    Of course, after Peterhof and all the excess of that time, most anywhere else might seem a tad plain. I have never visited Versailles and I wonder if it is a bit plain because France is a republic and a lot would have been lost during the revolution?

  3. Terrific pictures of a pretty fantastic object. I can't imagine the work that went into creating it. I'm glad you got to go to Versaille. I guess without the intrigue of the French court, it loses some of it's charm. lol

  4. I've not been to Peterhof, but I have been to Versailles. It's not furnished as elaborately as other palaces, but the architecture is what amazed us. Such detail and sumptuousness. If I go to Versailles again, I would take a tour of the inner rooms where the royals actually lived. The state rooms were mostly for show, even back then. The sorbet server is a wonderful piece - so intricate. Can you imagine having enough storage space to keep all the specialty items like this?

  5. Quite an interesting piece. It is elegant and such a work of art.
    Delightful to see. Thanks for posting and sharing it.
    I share your love of travel.We visited Versailles but it was so crowded it was hard to enjoy it. It is impressive though.