Monday, October 6, 2008

Star of Sisi Diamond

The robbery of one of Empress Elizabeth's jeweled hair-pins last year shocked all of Vienna. Made by Alexander Koechert for beautiful Empress 'Sisi' to adorn her thick, brown hair which fell below her knees, Sisi's 27 diamond pins looked wonderful in Winterhalter's famous portrait of her.

It was a brazen crime. It was taken from a glass case when the palace was busy and replaced with a fake.

Surprisingly, it turned up in Canada in the criminal's granny's house! Daniel Blanchard, the head of a large criminal gang responsible for many robberies of banks and jewels, admitted the crime to police and led them to the jewel.

Blanchard's girlfriend has recently been sentenced for her part in the crime.

Legend of Sisi's Tiara

Just before Elizabeth and Emperor Franz Joseph married in 1864, their aunt, Dowager Empress Caroline Augusta, looked at the wedding presents. As she was looking at the gorgeous pins, her mantilla got caught in Elizabeth's tiara and sent it crashing to the floor. This was seen as a bad omen. Indeed, the marriage was unhappy and Sisi was a tragic figure who traveled through Europe in search of happiness, lost her son in the famous Mayerling tragedy, and was eventually assassinated.
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