Announcement: a new thematic block in the museum exposition

New thematic assemblage – "Naves", the unique table decorations made of silver in the form of medieval ships, is presented in the hall of art metal, in the subsection "Western European metal artworks".

Naves in the form of ships were very popular and iconic interior design items in Western Europe in the 14th-16th centuries. In addition to their utilitarian functions, such as decorating festive events, storing wine or spices, these objects were also endowed with a certain sacred meaning. Naves were believed to preserve food and beverages from poison, and thus they could protect their owners from poisoning, and from miseries in the difficulties of life, bode salvation in a shipwreck as well. However, by the 16th century naves-goblets lose this meaning, becoming centerpieces. Miniature models of ships with the appropriate equipment and full rigging, characterized by masterly finesse work, at that time enjoyed the greatest expanse and recognition, which was a kind of response to the success of navigation and the great geographical discoveries.

The "reproduction" of such table decorations was once again taken up by European jewelers in the second half of the 19th century who worked in the Historicism style, the style that was characterized by the reconstruction of old forms and borrowing of ornamental motifs from the art of a bygone era.
An album of photographs of unique silver table decorations in the shape of medieval ships is available in the museum Photo Gallery.

You can find out more about the exhibits during a guided tour through the hall of metal artworks, or on the museum website in the "Western European Metal Artworks" section.

You can sign up for the tour on the museum's website in the "Contact information" section.