Metal Art

A collection comprising outstanding presentation and display objects, as well as gold and silver (often gold-plated) tableware,

starting with 16th century pieces from many (mainly German-speaking) manufacturing centres, with a focus on the particularly fertile eras of baroque and historicism. The collection includes magnificent guild and honorific goblets, ornamental bowls, drinking vessels, dining and washing services, cutlery sets and precious tobacco tins. The 19th and 20th century are represented with designs by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Henry van de Velde, Jean Puiforcat, Emil Lettré or Kasumasa Yamashita.

But there are also designs using base metals such as brass, bronze, pewter and iron, which are characteristic of the respective material and time. Magnificent jugs and especially Beckenschlägerschüsseln (brass bowls) from the 17th century with relief imagery feature the same fine gold shades as door knockers, mortars or furniture fittings made from the harder bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. The pewter collection comprises pilgrimage badges, Nuremberg relief pewter from the 17th century, guild, town and wine jugs from the 15th to the 18th century, with the Cologne-based art nouveau brands Orivit and Kayser completing the collection.

Wrought iron is a preferred material for window and balcony railings, for door fittings, vaults, locks and keys and also for weaponry, all of which are shown at the museum. Ornamental cast iron from the Royal Prussian foundries in Berlin, Gleiwitz and Sayn is characterised by both its distinct black sheen and sophisticated aesthetics: the museum presents an amazing early 19th century product palette ranging from candelabra and writing utensils to small sculptures, reliefs and very delicate jewellery that was created as part of the “I gave gold for iron” campaign to fund armament and thus became a symbol of patriotism.