Whilst reading Deborah Cadbury’s ‘The Lost King Of France’ (Revolution, Revenge and the Search for Louis XVII), I finally worked out the relevance of the portrait on a curious cufflink I found last year.
At the time, getting nowhere with my own research of the portrait and initials, I took the cufflink to our most learned London FLO, Stuart Wyatt, who identified it as potentially being a portrait commemorating Marie Terezie, Holy Roman Empress.
Marie Terezie, also known as Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina, was the ONLY female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She had eleven children, with her husband, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. All the children were destined for riches, fame and nobility, yet one in particular would also experience the polar opposite of a life of quality – Maria Antonia.
If Stuart is on the money, this cufflink here commemorates the mother of Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France, before Robespierre and his cronies claimed her head in 1793, at the height of The French Revolution.
How amazing is that?