This gorgeous carre is officially called Voltaire but is commonly referred to as Sanssoucy after the Potsdam palace of Frederick the Great. This beautiful collaboration between Loic Dubigeon and Jean-Hubert Pinxit was issued in 1994.
If your travels take you to Germany, please in addition to visiting Neu Schwanstein, which we all know is a “must”, also visit Sanssouci on the outskirts of Berlin. I promise, you will not be disappointed.
Sanssouci (German spelling) was the summer residence of Frederick the Great and was built in the French Rococo style of Versailles, albeit on a much smaller scale. Designed by the renowned architect, Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, who is famous for his other castles in Germany. Construction began in 1745 and was completed two years later. Fredrick’s summer residence was to be a sanctuary. Here the King of Prussia was to live carefree, away from the hussle and bussle of the court in Berlin. The name Sanssouci, sans souci i.e. without concern was to symbolize this carefree lifestyle.
As I already mentioned, this scarf is officially named Voltaire. But why, you ask? Well one must dig a little deeper in history. It was at Sanssouci, that the famous French philosopher was the most prominent guest and tutor to Frederick II.
This scarf so beautifully captures the student and his teacher amidst the serene surroundings of Sanssouci.
The relationship between Voltaire and Frederick lasted fifty years but although admiration continued throughout, their world and political views took different turns. As one historian put it “their friendship experienced the tumult of disagreements and diverging interests”. Both men are associated with the beginnings of modern France and modern Germany respectively.
Of course it is not lost on us, that Hermes chose not one but two male artists to create it, a collaboration that is not at all typical for the Fashion House.
A Special edition of the Voltaire was issued in honor of Jean-Louis Dumas, who as the chairman of Hermes for over 30 years made it into the global luxury brand that is today.