Empress Sisi’s Parasol Sold For GBP 80,000

A 19th-century silk sunshade once owned by Empress Elisabeth of Austria has sold for an astonishing EUR 91,000, more than 10 times the auctioneer’s estimate.


Elisabeth – or Sisi to family and friends – was hailed as Europe’s greatest beauty and known as the Princess Diana of her day.

Sisi’s life was even given The Crown treatment in the six-part Netflix drama, The Empress, last year.

Now a parasol covered in faded turquoise silk with a rose quartz and wooden handle – once owned by Sisi – has gone under the hammer for EUR 91,000 (GBP 79,000).

Auctioneers Dorotheum had expected the umbrella to go for only EUR 3,000 (GBP 2,600) to 6,000 (GBP 5,200) at the sale in Vienna, Austria.

Ironically Sisi had been hiding behind a parasol when she was assassinated by an anarchist knifeman in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1898.

Other items sold included a leather travel kit with nail files and manicure scissors which made EUR 57,200 (GBP 50,000).

One of Sisi’s silk undershirts was sold for EUR 10,400 (GBP 9,000)


The simple off-white garment once worn by the empress may look substantial to modern eyes.

But in 19th-century Europe, it would have been considered almost racy.

Records show the waist measurement on the 1850 vest is just 23 inches (60 centimetres).

Sisi’s husband Emperor Franz Joseph’s infantry officer’s sabre went under the hammer for EUR 28,600 (GBP 24,700).

And a pair of his gold cufflinks studded with moonstones and emeralds fetched EUR 23,400 (GBP 20,200).

In a statement released ahead of the event obtained by Newsflash, the Dorotheum said: “The auction of Imperial court memorabilia on 13th June 2023 at Dorotheum in Vienna will bring together objects from the personal possessions of members of the Austrian imperial family.

“The auction also includes portraits and memorabilia from other important European ruling houses.”


It went on: “Empress Elisabeth (1834-1898) is at the top of the popularity scale among members of the Austrian imperial family and at Dorotheum auctions.

“More than 120 years after her tragic death, she is still very much present: whether at the cinema or on Netflix, her popularity has not abated.”

The Dorotheum’s imperial specialist, Dr Georg Ludwigstorff, explained: “It’s because of Elisabeth’s charisma and also because of her beauty, without which she wouldn’t be famous.”

Sisi is known as much for her tragic life as her beauty.

She lost her first child in infancy, her second in a murder-suicide and her sister in a fire.

Aged 60, she was stabbed to death by an anarchist at Lake Geneva.


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