A Francis V Archduke of Austria-Este Presentation Snuff Box, 1875
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Length: 9cm (3.5in)
Silver and enamels. Rectangular form with hinged lid applied with the arms of the House of Habsburg-Este within a border of blue enamel. Maker’s mark of a sickle in a lozenge.
Francis V, Duke of Modena and Archduke of Austria-Este (1819-1875) was the son of Francis IV of Modena and Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy. He was created a Knight of the Austrian Order of the Golden Fleece in 1836. After the death of his mother in 1840, Francis was considered the legitimate heir to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland by Jacobites as Francis I. In 1842 Francis married Princess Adelgunde of Bavaria, daughter of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, at the Munich Residenz. At the death of his father in 1846 he succeeded as reigning Duke of Modena. As member of a cadet branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine he also bore the titles of an Archduke of Austria and a Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia from birth; from his father he inherited also the title of Duke of Reggio and Mirandola, Duke of Massa, Prince of Carrara and Lunigiana, as reflected in the quarterings on the present box. At the death of his cousin the Empress Marie-Louise on 18 December 1847, he succeeded as Duke of Guastalla.
During the revolutions of 1848, Francis was forced to flee his Duchy by a popular uprising and was restored by Austrian troops in the following year. In 1859 the Duchy of Modena was invaded by armies of France and Piedmont. Francis fled and Modena was incorporated into the new kingdom of Victor Emmanuel II of Italy. After the loss of his duchy, Francis withdrew to Vienna, where he lived in the Palais Modena. At his death he left most of his huge estate to his first cousin twice removed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (1863-1914) whose assassination in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia, and caused the countries allied with Austria-Hungary (the Triple Alliance) and countries allied with Serbia (the Triple Entente Powers) to declare war on each other, starting the First World War.
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