Empress Carlotte's Scepter on display in a Goppion Case

Project Update – 17 Apr 2024

Starting April 16, visitors can view Empress Charlotte's precious scepter at the The Historical Museum and Castle Park of Miramare in Trieste, exactly one hundred and sixty years after Archdukes Maximilian of Habsburg and Charlotte of Belgium embarked from Miramare Castle for Mexico. Acquired by the CRTrieste Foundation at auction last year and loaned to the Museum, this historic gold artifact will be showcased on the luxurious castle's second floor in the Oriental Drawing Room, specially opened to the public for the exhibition, which was designed by architects Officina delle Idee.

Empress Carlotte's Scepter

Goppion is proud to provide the conservation grade, freestanding display case for this unique object.

Empress Charlotte's scepter is a stunning 22-karat gold jewel adorned with intricate filigree, chiseled friezes of flowers and leaves, and embellished with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. Measuring 34 cm in length and 6 cm in width, the scepter features an imperial crown of gold threads, pearls, and eagles atop a filigreed cushion adorned with precious stones. Finely chiseled leaves and acorns decorate the ends, while the monogram of the Mexican Empire, designed by Maximilian, adorns the base alongside a plaque bearing the signature of goldsmith Jose Maria Larralde. The scepter is preserved in its original case.

Gifted by Empress Charlotte to the Municipal Council of San Juan del Rio in 1864, the scepter symbolizes a significant period in European history and Trieste's global involvement.

The display marks the return of the scepter to the archdukes' stately home, having passed through King Leopold II of Belgium's hands before being gifted to Baron Adrien Goffinet. Princess Marie Charlotte of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, born on June 7, 1840, in Laeken, met Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg in 1856 and became engaged shortly thereafter. The couple settled in Trieste, actively participating in the construction of Miramare Castle. In 1863, Maximilian was offered the crown of Emperor of Mexico, leading to their departure from Miramare in 1864. Despite initial challenges, including Maximilian's execution in 1867, Charlotte's legacy endures, and her scepter serves as a poignant reminder of her tumultuous life.

At Goppion, we are honored to help protect such treasures of cultural patrimony.