Re: [louis d/damian w/misha b]
They may be difficult feelings, but they are very much human ones.
I think what I mean is [...] I don't think that's where I'm going, but I was curious what keeps people out.
Those are three very good things. [...] Well, there is a pitcher and wash bowl set in a case on the first floor made by a company named Royal Doulton. They're known for their exquisite porcelain, and it's a very lovely thing, white and blue with gilt accents. It's turn of the century, a little art nouveau, a little arts and crafts. Most of the items in the store were archived and then later inventoried by what I can only assume were two different owners of the shop. The more recent one says "Owner claimed pitcher to be former possession of Empress Elisabeth. Impossible, obviously." Empress Elisabeth I think would be Sissi. She was the Empress of Austria in the last part of the 19th century. She had a very sad life, and she was a strange woman, obsessed with staying beautiful. She spent most of her time travelling, without her husband or her children, and supposedly had many affairs. They say she was one of the most beautiful women of that century, perhaps of all time. A few years before she died, her son died in a very famous murder suicide they call the 'Mayerling Incident.' He shot his mistress, then himself. Then Sissi was also killed, while out travelling. She never stayed at home much after her son died, and an anarchist stabbed her while she was out on the street. No one even realized until she was dead that she'd been stabbed - she stayed upright pretty well until they cut her corset loose, and it had apparently stabilized the wound. They had no idea they were killing her. The irony of that, of this woman, obsessed with beauty, surviving just a little longer because her corset kept her stable, that has always stuck with me.
Regardless, the pitcher in the case can't belong to her. Royal Doulton didn't start producing the 'Aubrey' pattern until 1903, and she died in 1898. And if it did belong to her? It's an interesting mystery, as well as a good story.