Download images: Please click on the preview image (to be used free of charge only for media reports on Dorotheum auctions, Photocredit: Dorotheum Vienna)
The Emperor's New Clothes - 'Sisi' and Emperor Franz Joseph star at the auction on 27th May
Gift Portraits, Empress Elisabeth € 6.000 - 9.000
Emperor Franz Joseph, Gift Portraits € 4.000 - 6.000
Empress Elisabeth bed linen € 1.200 - 1.800
Emperor Franz Joseph, inlaid (€ 2.500 - 3.500) and riding crop (€ 1.500 - 2.000)
Some may wax nostalgic dreaming of a bygone age, others may regard these objects as mere historical documents – both is equally rewarding given the wealth of lots at the annual Dorotheum auction of Imperial Memorabilia. On 27th May 2010, a wide range of objects associated with the imperial Habsburg Family and other European noble houses are coming up for auction.
First place in the general public's as well as the buyers' favour definitely goes to Empress Elisabeth of Austria, affectionately known as 'Sisi', and her husband Emperor Franz Joseph I. Two gift portraits of the royal couple, with ornamental frames and bearing the coat-of-arms of Habsburg-Lorraine are among the auction's top attractions. In particular the portrait photograph of the Empress with her autograph signature is a rarity of the first order (€ 6.000 – 9.000, Franz Joseph € 4.000 – 6.000). Both photographs have recently been discovered when the frames came in for auction sale; upon opening them, the photographs, which had been covered with paper, were revealed. The auction also includes an oil painting of Franz and Elisabeth in oval format by the court painter Franz Russ and dating to 1875 (both € 10.000 – 15.000).
Object used by the monarchs personally always exert a special fascination, such as Franz Joseph's riding crop its ivory handle inlaid with the letters „FJ“, or Elisabeth's bed linen bearing the monogram „E“ (€ 1.200 – 1.800). The account book of Eugen Ketterl, valet to Emperor Franz Joseph, offers a rare insight into a monarch's private life. It lists the emperor's purchases during the last months of his life. The last entry is dated 7. 11. 1916 and refers to "2 Austrian gala field marshal trousers, such as have been newly made in October". Before that it notes "10 yards black and yellow silk cords, new" and "one Austrian order of merit, to be repaired and delivered today" (€ 600 – 1.200). Showing an aspect of life far removed from the severe official coverage, „Kaisermanöver“, a series of 60 photographs by an anonymous photographer, show Emperor Franz Joseph, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and many others at the so-called "Feldherrenhügel" (commanders hill), around 1912. The imperial general manoeuvres were one of the high points of the military calendar (€ 1.000 – 1.800).
Auction: Imperial Memorabilia, 27th May 2010, 4:00 P.M.