The limited edition „Le beau Clement“ includes a total of 84 handbags. In a concealed section each bag includes a genuine piece of a letter from1839, handwritten by the great European statesman.
In his letter to a French Marquis the Prince raves about his domain Schloss Johannisberg, where he enjoyed spending the summer. We cut this artefact into pieces under the supervision of a notary,
sealed them in acrylic panels and worked them into our luxury bags. Each bag comes with a glossy photo of the original document.
Clemens Wenzel Lothar von Metternich, born in Koblenz in 1773, was a descendant of the ancient Metternich dynasty of Counts from the German Rhineland. The family fled to Vienna and lost their
possessions when Napoleon Bonaparte occupied the Rhineland. In 1801 Metternich entered the Austrian diplomatic service and made a name for himself as an envoy at the royal courts of Dresden,
Berlin and Paris. In Paris the Count became known as 'le beau Clement' and established himself as a grand seigneur on the social scene. He maintained amorous relationships with numerous
ladies, which he also utilised to obtain information that was difficult to get hold of.
Being a bonvivant from the outside, he worked hard and developed into a serious politician of conservative character in his Paris years.
After his return to Vienna in 1809, Metternich was appointed Foreign Minister and became one of the leading statesmen in Europe. After the fall of Napoleon he played an outstanding role in the
reorganisation of Europe, especially at the Vienna Congress.
The politician campaigned for a balance of powers and was an ardent defender of the monarchic principle throughout his life. In addition to diplomatic means, he did not shy away from the use of
prison, censorship and undercover informers to pursue his goals. Because of its distinct conservatism, the 'Metternich era' is considered reactionary by many.
After the Vienna Congress Metternich was appointed Prince by the Austrian Emperor Franz I. He also received Schloss Johannisberg in the Rheingau as a donation for his servce from the hands of the
Monarch in 1816.
Prince Metternich often used to spend several weeks at Johannisberg castle for recreation in the summertime.
„Mon cher Marquis.
Si je m'en réconnoissais le droit, je me permetterais qausi d'etre faché contre vous. Vos jeunes gens sont arrivés ici bien, mais sans vous! Nous eussions été bien heureux de vous recevoir
dans un lieu dont le séjour offre d'agréables distractions, dont le site est magnifique et dans lequel le Whiggisme n'a pas encore penetré..."