Louis XIV, the Sun King, was married to the Austrian Marie-Therese, for whom he cared little because she reputedly had hair between her breasts. Louis XIV fancied Henrietta, the wife of his brother, Philip of Orleans. So that the queen would be thrown off the trail, Louis took Henrietta's maid of honor as his mistress. She was known as the maitresse en titre, a semiofficial position since a certain Agnes Sorel, known as "the Queen of Beauty" in the thirteenth century.
   The lovely Louise Francoise de la Baume Le Blanc was only sixteen years of age. Though brought into this royal comedy as a blind, she and the king soon fell in love. Unfortunately the love story ended unhappily. Although Louise bore the king three children, the insatiable Louis lost his heart to Madame Montespan. But at the end of his affair with Louise in 1667, Louis made her the Duchesse de la Valliere, granting her the estate of Vaujours. Louise entered a convent at age thirty and remained there until she died in 1710 at age seventy-six.
   Louise was exceedingly well-liked in Europe while she was the king's favorite, because she was beautiful and introduced glamorous fashions. A badge of distinction, so to speak, was a large bow she wore around her neck called a lavalliere in her honor. The word lavaliere has passed into the English language to represent a chain around the neck from which dangles a pendant.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lavaliere — la va liere , lavallier la val lier , or La valliere La val liere , n. [after the Duchesse de La Valliere, a mistress of Louis XI. RHUD.] A neck ornament consisting of a chain and single jewelled pendant, or drop; also, the pendant itself.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lavaliere — see LAVALIER (Cf. lavalier) …   Etymology dictionary

  • lavaliere — or lavalier also Fr [ lȧ vȧ lyer′lav΄ə lir′, lä΄vəlir′] n. [Fr lavallière, kind of tie, after Duchesse de La Vallière (1644 1710), mistress of Louis XIV] an ornament hanging from a chain, worn around the neck: also lavallière also Fr [ lȧ vȧ… …   English World dictionary

  • lavaliere — /lav euh lear , lah veuh /, n. 1. an ornamental pendant, usually jeweled, worn on a chain around the neck. 2. See lavaliere microphone. Also, lavalier, lavallière Fr. /lann vann lyerdd /. [1915 20; after the Duchesse de La Vallière (1644 1710),… …   Universalium

  • lavaliere — 1. adjective Worn on the chest. Generally in the term lavaliere microphone. 2. noun A pendant on a chain …   Wiktionary

  • lavaliere — noun jeweled pendant worn on a chain around the neck • Syn: ↑lavalier, ↑lavalliere • Hypernyms: ↑pendant, ↑pendent * * * /lav euh lear , lah veuh /, n. 1. an ornamental pendant, usually jeweled, worn on a chain around the neck …   Useful english dictionary

  • lavaliere — also lavalliere noun Etymology: French lavallière necktie with a large knot Date: 1906 a pendant on a fine chain that is worn as a necklace …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • lavaliere — n. pendant worn on a chain around the neck …   English contemporary dictionary

  • lavaliere —    (lah vah LEER, lah vahl YAIR) [French, after the duchess of La Vallière] An ornamental pendant, often jeweled, worn on a thin chain around the neck. Also, a small microphone that can be worn on a necklace for purposes of concealment …   Dictionary of foreign words and phrases

  • lavaliere — lava·liere …   English syllables

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.