Lot 601: PARCS A HUITRES D'ETRETAT ET DEPENDANCES
29 October 2016
Brussels, BelgiumLive Auction
Description: July 1793 PARIS. Reconnaissance de liquidation. black. No 54. Certificate that a citizen of Versailles owns a 500 franc share in the liquidated Etretat Oyster Park, and that he has the right, on visiting Etretat (on the coast of Normandy, north of Le Havre) during the oyster season, to receive 3 'cloyères' (traditional local baskets) of white oysters and 3 of green oysters. The company was founded for Queen Marie-Antoinette, who greatly enjoyed oysters. The basins for growing the oysters were carved out of rock in the open sea, during 1777 to 1782. The oysters quickly gained a great reputation in Paris, adored for their very high quality. The oysters were brought by sea from Cancale (east of St.Malo) to Etretat, and left for several months in the basins. There they acquired a very delicate flavour, from the alternating flow of fresh water from underground sources and the salty sea-water. They were then sent to Versailles by a coach drawn by 10 to 12 horses. Unfortunately a revolutionary law brought about the end of the company, liquidated in 1793. Rarity 11.
Condition Report: EF