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Emperor’s old underwear sells for 6 000 euros

Not quite priceless but worth a hefty amount: a long riding undergarment once worn by emperor Franz Joseph was snapped up for over €6 000 (about R62 000) at an auction in Vienna this week.

An imperial collector forked out €6 250 ($8 100) for the underwear, worn by the long-ruling Habsburg emperor, whose death in 1916 came two years before the end of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Dorotheum auction house announced Wednesday.

Another riding undergarment belonging to Franz Josef's wife, empress Elisabeth – immortalised as Sisi in a series of romantic films – on the other hand sold for just €3 250.

The item was never worn: ordered shortly before Sisi was murdered by an Italian anarchist in Geneva in 1898, it was never even picked up from the maker's.

The most expensive object to be sold at Tuesday's auction was a ceremonial staff used at the Hungarian coronation of emperor Franz II in 1792, fetching some €61 300.

The Dorotheum holds an auction of imperial items once every year. – Sapa-AFP

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