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There was retrospective irony here in that Franz Joseph – shown at the age of two – was to enjoy scant military success during his epic reign over the Habsburg Empire from 1848 to 1916. The portrait had remained within the Habsburg family until 1975.

The ghost of Franz Joseph’s son Rudolf, who committed suicide at Mayerling in 1887, haunted Wiener Kunst’s next-day sale on June 12.

Rudolf’s cylindrical document sheath, right, a tassled, two-foot long red velvet deed-case spangled with Rudolf’s monogram, and with an ivory and enamel top, sold here for €8500 (£5480).