empress elisabeth 'sissi' of austria

Empress Sissi and the death of Ferenc Déak:

>>“He died January 28th, and Elizabeth wept when the new was brought to her. His body lay in state in the great hall of the Academy, which had been converted into a chapelle ardente,and here Elizabeth came in one of the simplest court carriages, and dressed in deep mourning.The deputies and ministers of Hungary were standing round the coffin when the Queen approached, carrying a wreath of laurel and white camellias, tied with a broad satin ribbon bearingthe inscription: “Erzsebet kyralyno Déak Ferencznek.” (“ From Queen Elizabeth to Franz Déak”). She stood for a few minutes in tearful silence by the lifeless body, and then turned to leave, when she suddenly went back, knelt on the lowest step, and prayed fervently. The Hungarian painters, Munkacsy and Ziczy, have represented this scene, and a Hungarian author has written: “ The memory of Déak is still glorified among us, but the tears of the Queen are the highest marks of honour that the dead hero could possibly receive.”<<

Clara Tschudi, Elizabeth: Empress of Austria.

Sisi was only 16 years old and woefully unprepared for married life. Traumatized by the consummation of the marriage on the wedding night, she remained secluded in her bedroom for three days, refusing to come out. Afterward, she struggled to adapt to the Habsburg court life with its rigid expectations and practices and stringent etiquette. Before long, she fell ill, but her illness turned out to be her first pregancy.

royaland  asked:

I would like to ask you if we know something about the tiara that Empress Sissi wore as queen of Hungary,where is it etc,,,,Thank you!

I don’t know much about Empress Elisabeth’s jewels but here’s what I’ve been able to find out.  First of all, I’m going to assume you mean the tiara she wore in the photos taken by Emil Rabending to mark her coronation as Queen of Hungary in 1867.  Sissi wore a crown during the coronation ceremony but a tiara for the photographs. 

If the tiara was her personal property then it was probably sold after her death in 1898.  She directed for most of her jewels to be sold and the proceeds given to charity.  Any personal property that was not sold was inherited by her granddaughter, Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria known as Erzsi.  Below is a photo of Erzsi’s wedding gifts from when she married Prince Otto of Windisch-Grätz in 1902.  Included in the picture are 27 diamonds star made by Köchert and a bow-shaped brooch with a cross pendant that belonged to Sissi.  What doesn’t make sense to me is that if she inherited those jewels from her grandmother, why are they included in the wedding presents?  Where they held in trust until she married or were the sold in 1898 but they were bought by a family member who thought they would then make a good wedding gift for Erzsi?  Either way, the tiara in question is not in the photo which makes me think it was part of the jewels that were sold.

If the tiara was state property it should be in the Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg in Vienna.  I’ve never seen any pictures of tiaras or more decorative jewellery included in this collection so I don’t think the tiara was part of the Austrian crown jewels which brings us back to the tiara being sold after her death.


Empress Sissi and Emperor Franz Joseph at Bad Kissingen, 1898.

Empress Sissi forbad people to take photos to her after she turned 30, so there aren’t much photos of Sissi in maturer age. Happily, there are a few of her later years that let us to see how she looked. Despite she is covering her face with a fan and she is taking an umbrella her face can be seen, unlike other photos of her in the same situation.

The original photo and below a painting based on it.

Empress Sissi’s interest on Psychiatry/mental illnesses:

>>More, and more clearly, she gave preference to insane asylums –even abroad, where there was no question of representing the crown; her visits were purely private. She inquired at length about the stories of the patients. At that time, treatment of the insane was still in its infancy. It was considered sufficient in most cases to keep the patients locked up, to feed them and care for them. Elisabeth had a burning interest in new therapeutic experiments; she was, for example, present on one occasion when a patient was hypnotized –at the time, a new sensational procedure.

This striking interest in mental illness and its treatment might have indicated the beginning of a commitment. But Elisabeth never took the step leading to active support of new therapies, though in 1871 she proposed a singular name-day wish to the Emperor: “Since you have asked me what would give me pleasure, I beg you for either a Bengal tiger (Zoological Garden in Berlin, 3 cubs) or a locket. What I would like best of all is a fully equipped insane asylum. Now you have enough choices”. And four days later: “My thanks in advance for the locket… Unfortunately, you appear not to have given the other two things a moment´s consideration”. Elisabeth’s interest in insane asylums was seen as another of her many bizarre ways, frequently ridiculed and disparaged as completely unsuitable to an empress.<<

Brigitte Hamman, The Reluctant Empress: A Biography of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.

Empress Sissi’s wardrobe #3

Replicas of well known dresses worn by the Empress compared to photos/paintings. 

1) Court dress, 1850′s

2) Her famous dress worn on her first known photo, 1853.

3) The dress that she wore at her Silver Wedding celebrations, 1879.

4) Dress worn by Sissi at her portrait by Arpad Koppay, 1890′s.

5) Coronation dress, 1867.

6) Wedding dress, 1854.

7) Hungarian court dress, 1850′s.

>>I don’t own the images<<