Monday, December 16, 2013

Margaretha Zelle (Mata Hari)

The infamous Mata Hari was born Margaretha Zelle in 1876. After a short and tragic marriage during which her son was poisoned to death by a housekeeper, Margaret began to find her fame as an exotic dancer who incorporated Asian style moves and costumes into her act. She adopted the name "Mata Hari", which means "sun" in Indonesia.

She soon found herself as being a highly sought-after courtesan and had relations with notably ranking officers and politicians in several countries. It was these affairs that soon got her into trouble when her lovers began to ask her to obtain sensitive information for them during World War I. While the extent of Mata Hari's spying is very unclear, she did admit during a French interrogation to passing out-dated intelligence to a German officer.

On February 13, 1917 she was arrested in Paris and tried before a military court in July of the same year. Found guilty of espionage, she was sentenced to death. On October 15,1917 Mati Hari donned a fur-lined black velvet cape and faced the firing squad without a blindfold or bindings of any kind as per her request. The order to fire was given and Mata Hari took several bullets to the chest before crumpling to the ground. As was the custom, a coup de grace shot was administered by revolver to her left temple.


Our Mata Hari doll stands 24" tall and wears a beautiful red and gold dancing costume with lots of hand-sewn beads and sequins. The long sheer red chiffon skirt is speckled with beaded flower clusters and held with a wide golden trimmed belt. Her bra-like top is composed of individually sewn sequins and accented with strung beads and decorative golden straps. Her long black hair is braided in a style similar to as she wore it for her execution and is crowned with a cap that bears her signature "antennae" made with gold-tone beads.

Mata Hari sports six bullet wounds in her chest area and the mark where the final bullet entered her brain is clearly visible. All of her features are hand-painted. Doll stand is not included.

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