A Galoubet belonging to the Duke of Chartres

14 • A Galoubet belonging to the Duke of Chartres

France, 1826
26 cm long; ebony, ivory

The label accompanying this piece states: ‘Flageolet (sic) du Duc de Chartres en 1826, à moi donné par la Reine le 18 Septembre 1852’ (Flageolet (sic) of the Duke of Chartres in 1826, given to me by the Queen, 18th September 1852).

Prince Ferdinand Philippe of Orléans (1810–1842) was the eldest son of Louis Philippe d’Orléans, Duke of Orléans and Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily. With his father’s accession to the French throne in 1830, Ferdinand Philippe received the titles duc d’Orléans and Prince Royal, heir apparent to the throne.

Portrait of Ferdinand Philippe of Orléans by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, 1844. © Château de Versailles
Portrait of Ferdinand Philippe of Orléans by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, 1844. © Château de Versailles

‘The King Louis-Philippe was not a musician but his children all love music and play instruments,’ wrote the Vicomte de Pontécoulant.

Ferdinand Philippe was indeed a great lover of the arts and an active patron. Every year he spent up to 150,000 francs from his royal allowance on art and cultural patronage and filled his vast apartments at the Tuileries Palace with medieval and Renaissance objects, Chinese and Japanese porcelains, 18th-century French furniture and modern paintings. Here he also hosted regular concerts by the greatest musicians of the time, including Chopin, who played there twice.

Throughout the 1830s he distinguished himself in a series of military campaigns in Flanders and Algeria, his military career increasing his public popularity and prestige. He died suddenly in 1842, never to succeed his father or see the July Revolution of 1848 and subsequent collapse of the Bourbon monarchy. His parents, wife and children lived the rest of their lives in exile in England.