Besides being historically renowned for help provoking the popular unrest leading to the French Revolution and to the overthrow of the monarchy in August 1792, in part of her famous quote addressing starving French populace, ‘Let them eat cake’, the last queen of France, Marie Antoinette was also known as ‘Madame Deficit’ which describes her habit of spending enormous amounts of money on luxury clothing, jewels, chateaux, and any kind of whim. Now to pay a beautiful, luxurious homage to this infamous French queen born as archduchess of Austria, the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos has created a lavishly-decorated, bright pink helicopter. Dubbed as ‘Lilicoptère’, this gilded Bell 47 helicopter covered with fluffy ostrich feathers, sparkling Swarovski Crystals, and crafted with gold leaf, industrial coating, dyed leather upholstery embossed with fine gold, Arraiolos rugs, walnut wood, wood grain painting, and passementerie, is actually the artist’s vision of what the fashionable queen with a penchant of ultra-luxury would be flying in, if she were alive today.
Notably, Lilicoptère draws on the rich, glamorous and bold aesthetics of the royalty of the late Ancien Régime in order to suggest a metamorphosis from machine to animal; a return to the origin and to the inspiration that motivated the realization of man's dream of flying.
This gilded helicopter comes decorated with thousands of rhinestones, and has the outer surface of its cockpit lined with an extravagant and colourful coat of ostrich feathers.
At the front of the cabin, a featherless mouth-like gap reveals its sumptuous interior, exhibiting intricate woodworks, gildings and embroidered upholstery featuring Marie Antoinette's initials.
This intricate work has however been produced by Joana Vasconcelos in collaboration with Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva, Lisbon.
Besides, we have also earlier seen some of the other luxury helicopters designed for the likes of royals, including the Mercedes-Benz Style luxury helicopter, and the Bell Helicopters 525 Relentless which is the world’s first "super-medium" helicopter, to name a few.
Check out the gallery: