The limited edition „Madam Kaiser No.1“ includes a total of 84 handbags. In a concealed section, each bag includes a genuine piece of a handwritten letter of the Austrian Empress Maria Theresia
from the year 1756. We cut this rare 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 complete original document.
Maria Theresia of Austria was the only female head of the Habsburg Dynasty. She remained the uncrowned ‘Madam Kaiser’ for life. Her consort Franz I. Stephan was politically unambitious, yet she
pushed through his election as emperor in 1745. Although her spouse was the official sovereign, his resolute wife led the government affairs for 40 years until her death. Nevertheless, Franz
Stephan stood steadily by Maria Theresia's side, helping her to select competent advisors and increasing the family's wealth with his talent in financial matters.
In matters of foreign policy, Maria Theresa perceived herself first and foremost as the ruler of a multi-ethnic state. She sought to strengthen the power of the House of Habsburg primarily
through a smart marriage policy. The Empress gave birth to 16 children, thirteen of whom survived infancy.
For her surviving children, she established advantageous marital relations with foreign states at a very young age of the infants. She expected her sons and daughters to subordinate their
personal ambitions to the welfare of the state. This is well reflected in the marriage of her daughter Marie Antoinette to the French dauphin, who tragically ended on the guillotine during the
When her beloved husband Franz Stephan died in 1765, she proclaimed her eldest son, the later Emperor Joseph II, a co-regent. But Maria Theresa, who considered herself an absolute monarch, albeit
with a tendency towards reforms, still had the final say. Not very suprisingly, this joint reign contained a lot of dynamite. Moreover, Joseph was very open-minded man towards the
radical ideas of the Enlightenment. His mother's greatest adversary, Frederick II of Prussia, of all people, was his declared role model.
During her 40-year reign, Maria Theresa earned the respect of many other European monarchs. Even her lifelong antagonist Frederick II, whom she used to call 'Monster', paid her respect. After her
death in 1780 he said: "I waged war with her, but I was never her enemy. She has done honour to her throne and to her gender."