The empire of Austria was proclaimed in 1804 by the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II (1768-1835) who became also the austrian emperor as Francis I.
From 1804 to 1806, when the Holy Empire was abolished, this monarch was known as the double emperor.
Until 1804 Austria was an archduchy, with an own archducal crown, part, as many others german States, of the Empire. When Austria became en empire wasn't made a new crown but has been choice the personal crown of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612).
Is necessary to explain that the crown of the Holy Roman Empire could be used only for the imperial coronation and it could not been move from Nuremberg, where it was been kept, but only for coronation that tooks place at Aachen. So each emperor ordered a second crown to be wore during all the others celebrations when it was necessary.
The Rudolf II's personal crown is the only one that has been preserved because it was declared by emperor Ferdinand II (1578-1637) as "inalienable property of the Habsburg and dynastic crown" so it has not been dismantled to make new personal crowns as other ones.
The sceptre and the globe of the empire of Austria were emperor Matthias's ones made in XVII sec.
Only the austrian imperial robes was made for the empire of Austria specially in 1830.
All the austrian imperial regalia are today kept in the Kaiserliche Schatzkammer at Kunsthistorisches Museum at Vienna.
The austrian imperial crown is known also as personal crown of Rudolf II.
It was made by Jan Vermeyen in 1602 at Prague with gold, enamel, diamonds, rubies, spinels noble, sapphire, pearls and velvet. Height: 28.3 cm; diameter: 22.4 cm.
The surface of the crown is divided into 4 sections. In each section is depicted on gold foil embossed Emperor Rudolf II in his four major dignity:
- on the front left as Imperator
- on front right as Augustus
- on the back left as Rex Hungariae
- on the back right as Rex Bohemiae.
In the first sections the emperor is depicted victorious over the Turks, donning armor while wielding the scepter and Victory crowns him with laurel. In the second sections is depicted his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor in the cathedral of Regensburg on 1 November 1575. The third one depicts Rudolf II on the coronation hill in Pressburg where he was crowned king of Hungary on September 26, 1572. Finally in the fourth sections is represented the procession for the coronation of emperor Rudolf II as king of Bohemia.
Historicals think that the crown's circle was from the personal crown of emperor Ferdinand I (1503-1564).
At the inferior part of the central arch can be read in latin: RVDOLPHVS ∙ II ∙ ROM(anorum) ∙ IMP(erator) ∙ AVG(ustus) ∙ HVNG(ariae) ∙ ET BOH(emiae) ∙ REX ∙ CONSTRVXIT ∙ MDCII ∙
(Made by Rudolf II, Roman Augustus Emperor, king of Hungary and Bohemia in 1602).
The sceptre was made for the emperor Matthias (1557-1619) in 1615 by Andreas Osenbruck at Prague with narwhal tusk, gold, enamel, diamonds, rubies, sapphire and pearls. Length: 75.5 cm; Weight: 1640 g.
In the inner part of the pommel of the scepter there is the engraving ANDREAS OSENBRUCK FECIT YEAR 1615 (Made by Andreas Osenbruck in the year 1615).
The imperial globe, as the scemptre, was made by Andreas Osenbruck in 1612-1615 at Prague with gold, enamel, diamonds, rubies, sapphire and pearls. Height: 26.9 cm.
The austrian imperial robes was designed by Philipp von Stubenrauch and realized by Johann Frits in 1830 at Vienna with red and white velvet, gold embroidery, sequins, silk and ermine white. Length: 276 cm.
Before become an empire in 1804, Austria was an archduchy. His crown is known as Holy Crown of Austria and the most recent austrian archducal crown was commisioned by archduke Maximilian III (1558-1618) in 1616.
Maximilian III wanted that the crown was kept at the monastery of Klosterneuburg (where it is still kept in the Treasure) even if in 1620 it was brought to Vienna for the investiture of archduke Ferdinand III (1578-1637, Ferdinand II as Holy Roman Emperor). This crown was thereafter used in all subsequent ceremonies of investiture and vassalage until 1835.
The crown was made in 1616 at Innsbruck with gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, pearls, enamel, velvet and ermine. Height: 23 cm; Diameter: 27 cm.
On 3 April 1764 the future emperor Joseph II (1741-1790) was crowned king of the Romans in Frankfurt. This occasion demanded the exhibition, among other insignia, of the austrian archducal crown but it was not available because the refuse of the monastery of Klosterneuburg to give the crown. So was commissioned a new crown made of gilded silver and decorated with precious stones and pearls. Inside the crown was placed a cap of red velvet edged with ermine. Of this second archducal crown there is today only the frame and it is kept in Kaiserliche Schatzkammer at Kunsthistorisches Museum di Vienna.
Archducal crown of Tyrol and ducal crown of Styria
The archducal crown of Tyrol was made in 1602 at Innsbruck with silver-gilt, gold wire, glass, velvet and ermine (now replaced by silk).
Height: 28.5 cm; Diameter: 20.5 cm.
LOCATION: Treasure of the Castle, Mariastein
The ducal crown of Styria was made with gilded silver, pearls, enamel, velvet
and ermine. Height: 20.5 cm; Diameter: 20 cm.
LOCATION: Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz
In 1808 it was made for the empress Maria Ludovica (1787-1816), third wife of emperor Francis I, a crown of diamonds. In 1838 from this crown were removed all the gemstones (the silver frame was preserved but unused) to be remounted on a new structure made by the court jeweler Mayerhofer. In 1867, on the occasion of the coronation of emperor Franz Joseph I as king of Hungary, the crown of diamonds, which would have been worn during the ceremony by the empress Elizabeth (1854-1898), underwent a new makeover. Again in 1916, during the coronation ceremony of emperor Charles I (1887-1922) as king of Hungary, the crown diamond was worn by his wife the empress Zita (1892-1989)
With the collapse of the monarchy, the crown followed the Imperial family into exile in Switzerland but from this moment his destiny became unclear. The latest news sure about this crown is that it was worn by the drunken baron Steiner during a revelry and then it disappeared.
Sorry but Tirol was an earldom with the head of the House of Habsburg always being an Earl (in german Graf) of Tirol.
Yes, you're right!
This was the crown of the earldom of Tyrol but it is known as "archducal".
The title is not wrong because it relates to the status of the holder of the Count of Tyrol who was also archduke of Upper-Austria (during the period of the divisions of the Habsburg hereditary lands).
As you know title of archduke is upper than title of earl so also the earl's crown was called archducal by his holder.
Very interesting Thank You! I had read several years back that Zita entrusted many of her jewels to Baron Steiner and he squandered them all away to finance himself, some he even took to New York and sold. I don't know how much of what I've read is fact, but many of the Habsburg jewels were lost after WWI and never recovered as I understand. It's a miracle that as much of the Imperial Regalia came through two World Wars untouched.