This chapter looks at where the ambassador lodged abroad and the way in which he turned a private house into an embassy. With the increasing numbers of diplomats and their lengthening stays abroad, the Hotel des Ambassadeurs was rarely used for anything other than an official welcome. Instead, diplomats found their own accommodation and filled it with their own servants, some hired locally and some taken from home. This then had to be furnished, and during the second half of the seventeenth century there is a perceptible shift in the importance attached to the furniture and interior furnishings of an ambassadorial residence, such that by 1700 the interiors matched any owned by members of the fashionable elite. The diplomat’s wife was often part of the household and, notwithstanding the enormous difficulties she must have faced, played an important role not only in managing the house, but in entertaining and even conducting her own schedule of official visits.
Keywords: embassy; hôtel des ambassadeurs; servants; furniture; furnishings; wife; entertaining; official visits
Chapter. 10290 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)
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