These extraordinary engravings are the last words written by Louis XVI (his will, Christmas Day, 1792) and his wife, Marie-Antoinette (a letter to her sister-in-law, 6 October 1793), turned into silhouettes, probably in the 1830s. I’ll admit it took me a while to find out some information on the engraver, Alphonse Pélicier, who is listed in none of the usual biographical dictionaries of artists and engravers. The reason? Because he was a map engraver. Such a project as this called for particular skills: someone who was good at engraving words, not images. Quite why they were produced, however, eludes me, unless it was some kind of celebration for Louis-Phillippe and the Bourbon dynasty.