Presentation of a new exposition block in the Hall of Metal Artworks
Today we presented a new exposition block dedicated to a rare exhibit. Our static exhibition in Hall of Metal Artworks has been replenished with the authentic historical rarity - the Travel Set (the so-called "silver suitcase"), created in the second half of the 18th century by the famous goldsmiths of the German city of Augsburg and containing 40 items for the morning toilette and breakfast. According to legend, belonged to Johann Friedrich Karl von Ostein (1689-1763) - Archbishop of Mainz since 1743.
Such "Travel sets" or "silver suitcases" were large coffers with items for the morning toilette and breakfast, writing and sewing utensils were sometimes added to them. Such "Travel Services" were purposed to perform the representative role in the ceremonial performance of the solemn morning dressing that, as a rule, took place in privy chamber. Currently, the service includes 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.
If we turn to the history of jewelry art in Germany, it is obvious that the free German cities of Augsburg and Nuremberg were the leading centers for the production of gilded silver items in the 15th-16th centuries.
High quality of work, boundless imagination, and bold combination of various materials - all this for several centuries became the hallmark of Augsburg goldsmiths. Numerous art products of these masters were supplied to many European royal houses, the , representatives of prosperous wealthy burghers and aristocracy were among the customers. Masterly executed items made of precious metals were intended to demonstrate the wealth and status of their owner. The fame of the Augsburg goldsmiths was due to their exceptionally long period of training in artisanship, the minimum period of which equaled to 12 years.
It is believed that about thirty such Augsburg Travel Sets have survived to our time. One of them is now housed in the museum Collection. It is on display in the new exposition block in the Golden Room of the Metal Artworks Hall Collection Museum. The minor details of the Travel Set can be examined in the collection section "Western European Metal Artworks".