Who would not know this notorious portrait of Empress Sisi by Franz Xaver Winterhalter where she is depicted in white sheer dress with voluminous skirt by Charles Worth and with her famous long hair braided in a complicated updo that is finished with diamond stars? Today I am going to focus on these stars in my The background of... cycle.
Sisi was known for her beauty and is idealized in movies a lot. She was obsessed about her tiny waist and was not affraid of torturing her body during sport activities or conforming to the strangest diets just to remain slim. This of course did have a negative impact on her looks when she was older. There were many books written about her bt the thing that caught my eye recently is her attire on her portraits. I really wanted to know more about her jewels.
There are more types of the star clips she wore in her hair made by various jewellery makers. There is a set of eight-pointed diamond stars, ten-pointed diamond stars and ten-pointed diamond stars with pearls in the middle of the stars. The ten-pointed diamond stars with pearl were designed by the jewellers Rozet & Fischermen. Jeweller Jakob Heinrich Köchert created, among others, the mentioned ten-pointed diamond stars.
It is said that Sisi gave her precious stars to her ladies-in-waiting, but other sources claim that Sisi gave her stars to her granddaughter Archduchess Elisabeth as a wedding present. Her graunddaughter indeed was given the set of 27 stars, these are the stars that are depicted on the portrait by Winterhalter above. But there were more sets of these stars... so I think the rumour might be true. It is said that some of the stars are still in the families of the ladies that got some of the stars... I wish I was one of them... ;)
You can actually own one of the Sisi stars, well not the original probably, but a cheaper knock-off that can be bought in souvenir shops in Hofburg or Schloss Schönbrunn or online. I also heard that some of the original star maker maisons are still producing them, but you can (un)imagine the price. There is also a possibility of creating your own version of these stars, which will be one of my next DIY posts, I will only reveal that they will be made of beads and Swarovski rivolis.
Schloss Schönbrunn. Star jewellery of Empress Elisabeth. http://www.hofburg-wien.at/en/nc/services/news/news-detail-start/artikel/sternenschmuck-der-kaiserin-elisabeth.html, 3. 1. 2014.
Vienna. At court in Vienna. http://www.wien-vienna.com/sisi.php, 3. 1. 2014.