Factlet first published on (March 18, 2009
I just came upon a note I took when consulting A.N., K 1716, liasse 6, items 2 and 3, which contains materials about funerals at the basilica. I noted: "The monks get the ornaments! A huge squabble about it, with Sainctot," the royal master of ceremonies. This was no small matter because, for the funeral of the Dowager Duchess of Orléans in 1672, the decor consisted of yards and yards and yards of black woolen drap "strewn with silver teardrops"; marble (and fake-marble) skeletons; hundreds of candles of costly white wax, in 300 silver candlesticks; and a silver-gilt crown on the bier. (BnF, ms. fr. 16663, pp. 181-91). Even if we suppose that some of these items (the crown and the candlesticks) belonged to the Crown, enough remained to fight over, down to the burned-down candle stubs, which religious traditionally collected and sold to candle-makers.