Here is a closeup of the picture and the story to go with it. While living in Germany I regularly attended the indoor flea market held in our little village of Meisenbach. One Saturday, a gentleman was outside and had the doors of his van flung open and propped up against the door was this picture. She caught my eye and I asked "How much?" He replied, "5 euro." (Which at the time was about $4.50.) I smiled and said "I am going to go look inside now and I might come back later." Even as I type this some of you are cringing and saying "How come you didn't buy her right then?" I try very hard not to be an impulse shopper. I like to mull things around a bit. I believe that if I am meant to have something, it will still be there when I go back.
I was inside for about an hour or so and I kept thinking about her. So much so that I couldn't really enjoy anything else I was seeing. So I went back out and she was no longer propped up against the door. I felt my heart fall but the gentleman spotted me and said, "Love was in your eyes, and I saved her for you." So I took her home and much to my surprise Mr. Decor loved her as well. So she went on a dining room wall and then moved with us to Georgia a few years later. Soon after I received my copy of Country Living Magazine. In their monthly "What is it? What is it worth?" column I saw my girl. I found out a bit of history about her and learned that she was a form of advertisement from the late 1800's~early 1900's and was worth a BIT more than the $4.50 I paid for her. :)
Here is my favorite part of the story, a sweet love story, which can be found here.
Very often it is claimed that the person painted was the young Anna Baltauf, daughter of a impoverished knight, Melchior Baltauf, who had possibly been recruited to court as a ladies maiden. It is said that the young prince von Dietrichstein spied on her beauty there, fell in love and married her to the dismay of the nobility.
The Walter Baker Company describes the story in it's little recipe-booklet of 1913 as follows:
"...There is a romance connected with the charming Viennese girl who served as the model, which is well worth telling. One of the leading journals of Vienna has thrown some light an the Baltauf, or Baldauf, family to which the subject of Liotard's painting belonged. Anna, or Annerl, as she was called by friends and relatives, was the daughter of Melchior Baltauf, a knight, who was living in Vienna in 1760, when Liotard was in that city making portraits of some members of the Austrian Court. It is not clear whether Anna was earning her living as a chocolate bearer at that time or whether she posed as a society belle in that becoming costume; but, be that as it may, her beauty won the love of a prince of the Empire, whose name, Dietrichstein, is known now only because he married the charming girl who was immortalized by a great artist. The marriage caused a great deal of talk in Austrian society at the time, and many different stories have been told about it. The prejudices of caste have always been very strong in Vienna, and a daughter of a knight, even if well-to-do, was not considered a suitable match for a member of the court. It is said that an the wedding day Anna invited the chocolate bearers with whom she had worked or played, and in "sportive joy at her own elevation" offered her hand to them saying, " Behold! now that I am a princess you may kiss my hand."She was probably about twenty years of age when the portrait was painted in 1760, and she lived until 1825..."
A big thank you to Shimmy Mom who has bestowed the "You Are Such A Joy to Me" award upon Decor to Adore. Thank you for the honor. She likes my historical posts so "Chocolate Girl" is dedicated to Sweet Shimmy.