Marie Taglioni (1804-1884) was one of the most celebrated ballerinas of her day. Born in Sweden and trained in Austria, Taglioni used her talents to gain the adoration of culture lovers throughout Europe.
While touring in Russia from 1837 to 1842, she developed such a following that her fans were referred to as the Cult of the Ballerina. It was after her final performance in Russia that a pair of her ballet slippers were purchased for 200 rubles (approximately $197,000 in 2018 values). The slippers were cooked and served as dinner to a group of her most devoted fans.