It is thought that both Marie Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour helped the Papillon become fashionable and they both admired and owned this breed.
|Madame de Pompadour
Marie Antoinette had a Sevres porcelain model of a Phalene (Papillon with drop ears) in her room that was only found after her death..
Marie Antoinette's dog was a small spaniel that had been brought to the French court from Spain on the back of pack mules. According to the story, her pup was spared and cared for in a building in Paris still called the Papillon House.
Marie Antoinette's dog was said to have descended from a very old drop-eared breed known as the Epagneul Nain Continental, or Continental Dwarf/Toy Spaniel that appeared in church frescos and paintings as early as the 13th century .
Her house in Paris, France is known today as The House of the Papillon.
Toward the end of the 19th century, breed fanciers bred a version of the spaniel whose ears stood up. This dog was said to have been nicknamed papillon based on the impressively large, erect ears that resembled the wings of a butterfly. The drop-eared variety of the breed came to be called the Phalène (which means "night moth"). Both types may today appear in the same litter..