Archduke Franz Ferdinand Imperial Presentation Brooch, Circa 1913
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Height: 38mm (1.5in)
Joachim Remak’s 1959 book Sarajevo: The Story of a Political Murder recalls the fateful moment. ‘One bullet pierced Franz Ferdinand's neck while the other pierced Sophie's abdomen. ... As the car was reversing (to go back to the Governor's residence because the entourage thought the Imperial couple were unhurt) a thin streak of blood shot from the Archduke's mouth onto Count Harrach's right cheek (he was standing on the car's running board). Harrach drew out a handkerchief to still the gushing blood. The Duchess, seeing this, called: "For Heaven's sake! What happened to you?" and sank from her seat, her face falling between her husband's knees.'
Mary Marshall (1843-1930) was housekeeper at Welbeck, the seat of the 6th Duke of Portland and one of Nottinghamshire's grandest country houses, from the 1890s until her retirement in 1923. As such she was an undisputed authority over the Welbeck Abbey's indoor servants and commanded the respect of a small army of outdoor servants, estate workers and local tradesmen. Her life at the Abbey brought her the acknowledgement of the great and the good including the kings of England, Spain and Norway - each of these monarchs presenting her with gem set brooches. She enjoyed the particular gratitude of the Portlands following a devastating fire in October 1900 which tore through the Oxford Wing of the Abbey and threatened to consume their three children. In the absence of the Duke and Duchess, it was due to the efforts of Mrs Marshall that the eight year old Lord Titchfield and his siblings were saved. Within a year of Franz Ferdinand's visit, Lord Titchfield was himself engaged in the struggle against the Central Powers, serving as a lieutenant on the Western Front with the Royal Horse Guards. Neither did the war leave the Abbey untouched, it's extensive kitchen block being given up to house a military hospital.
Manchester Courier, 25 .11.1913
Will of Mary Marshall of Winchmore Hill, London.
Sold with a small archive of personal correspondence between Mary Marshall and the Duke and Duchess of Portland, and a bronze medal commemorating the coming of age of the Marquis of Titchfield and the Portland’s silver wedding anniversary in 1914.