Museum stories: “Travel toilette service in leather suitcase” (video)

The travel service that we present today under the heading "Museum Stories"  is a rare example of Augsburg gold making in the 18th century. The service is comprised of forty items. They are - a mirror, a hand-washing set, toilette boxes of various sizes on the trays, flasks, décrassoir, pelote, snuffbox, vergette, candlesnuffers with tray, candlesticks, bowls with lids, tazza, flatware, goblets, сoquetier and soup bowl. All items are vermeil, realized in the Rocaille style and are located on two levels of the large wooden leather-covered suitcase. Its lower compartment is designed as a withdrawable drawer that can be pulled out if the suitcase front rectangular doors are opened.

The travel service stored in the museum Collection, according to the legend, belonged to Johann Friedrich Karl von Ostein (1689-1763) - Archbishop of Mainz since 1743. If we consider that such suitcases were generally intended for women, then it can be assumed that the archbishop could have purchased it for his early widowed younger sister, Countess Marie Antoinette von Bassenheim, née Ostein (1710-1788), for whom in 1743, by his order, a palace was erected. It has survived to our days and is called the Bassenheymer-Hof.

It is generally regarded that about thirty such Augsburg travel services have survived to our days. These "sets" differed from each other; the contents depended on the customer's requirements. This is evidenced by the "silver suitcases" stored Maximilian Museum in Augsburg (Germany) and the Metropolitan Museum in New York (USA), with slightly different items.