A hole in the heart of history. A story of slavery.

Holding Marie’s hand, they cried together. Melanie could feel her pain as she told of her dreams as a child.


“Dès mon plus jeune âge, j'ai su que je serais vendu comme un mariage de raison pour l'empire de ma famille.” Marie said

{“I knew from an early age that I would be sold into a marriage of convenience for the empire of my family.”} Marie said

“Toutes mes soeurs avaient été divisées avant moi. Maria Christina, qui a partagé l’anniversaire de ma mère et qui était sa préférée, a été autorisée à se marier par amour. "

{“All of my sisters had been given as consorts before me. Maria Christina who shared my Mother’s birthday and was her favourite, was allowed to marry for love.”}

Melanie squeezed her hand to comfort her.

“Quand j'avais 13 ans, il y avait des problèmes avec la France.

Pour rapprocher nos pays de l’Autriche et de la France, je me suis fiancé de Louis.

Pouvez-vous imaginer à quel point je devais être esclave de quelqu'un que je n'avais jamais rencontré?

J'ai rêvé que je pourrais un jour l'aimer.

J'ai aussi rêvé que je pourrais vivre la vie de mon choix.

L'esclavage est l'absence de choix pour choisir Mélanie. Mon destin était l'esclavage.

Louis et moi étions mariés quand j'étais une fille innocente de quatorze ans.”

{“When I was 13 years old, there were troubles with France.

To bring our countries of Austria and France closer, I was betrothed in marriage to Louis.

Can you imagine how terrified I was to be given into slavery to someone I had never met?

I dreamed I could one day love him.

I also dreamed I could live the life of my choosing.

Slavery is the absence of choice to choose Melanie. My destiny was slavery.

Louis and I were married when I was an innocent girl of fourteen years of age.”}

Tears rolling down Marie’s face at the memories of those loveless years, tore a hole in Melanie’s heart.

It would be a long seven years before their wedding would be consummated with any mutual love.

Ching Dynasty Collection

We are the custodians of some of the most exquisite examples of hand carved artistry from 200 years ago, here as just a few for you to look at: