Round blue jasper medallion with white relief profile portrait of Moliere (1622-1673) facing left. Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, who took the stage name of Moliere, was born in Paris, the son of an upholsterer, who was also valet-de-chambre to Louis XIII. He studied under the Jesuits at the College de Clermont. In 1641 Moliere succeeded his father as the King's valet, but soon abandoned the appointment for the stage, joining a company of strolling players. For a time he came under the patronage of the Prince de Conti, and the King's brother, the duc d'Orleans. He first played before the King in 1658. In the following year his genius as a comic dramatist asserted itself, and the well known comedies began to flow from his pen. In 1665 Louis XIV adopted Moliere's troupe of players as his own, giving its director a pension of a thousand livres. His last play was the Malade Imaginaire. Moliere was ill when it was played, and the exertion produced a haemorrhage from which he died a few hours later.



About 1800