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Vienna Circa 1780: An Imperial Silver Service Rediscovered
Synopses & Reviews
Eighteenth-century European court society was famous for its lavish banquets featuring elaborate settings and protocols designed to indicate the status of both host and guests. Integral to these events were extravagant dining services of silver and gold, many of which were subsequently melted down to finance the frequent wars of the period. This book presents a rare surviving imperial service, made from about 1779 to 1782 for Duke Albert of Sachsen-Teschen by Austrian master Ignaz Joseph Wand#252;rth. The so-called Second Sachsen-Teschen Service comprised hundreds of items, including wine coolers, tureens, cloches, sauceboats, candelabra, candlesticks, and serving implements, as well as twenty-four dozen silver plates and porcelain-mounted silver and silver-gilt cutlery.
Once believed lost, the ensemble has been partially reunited here and placed in the context of contemporary silver from other European cities. Representing court dining at its most splendid, the service melds the reigning French Neoclassical style with purely Viennese elementsand#8212;such as a vigorous design, a sparkling play of textures, and the juxtaposition of classical elements with whimsical sculptural detailsand#8212;and reveals Vienna as a major center of the Neoclassical goldsmithand#8217;s art.
Book News Annotation:
A pair of rediscovered 18th century silver wine coolers made for Hapsburg Duke Sachsen-Teschen enhances The Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection of gold and silver works. Ignaz Joseph Würth put his unique signature on the French Neoclassical style then in vogue. In this catalog of an exhibition on view at the museum April 13-November 7, 2010, curator Koeppe (European sculpture and decorative arts) and the museum's director provide context on Vienna as an 18th century cultural center, the Second Sachsen-Teschen service originally comprised of hundreds of pieces for precisely choreographed banquettes recreated in the exhibit, the featured surviving pieces, and master goldsmiths of the period. Co-published with and distributed by Yale U. Press. Annotation Â©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Wolfram Koeppe is curator, Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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Arts and Entertainment » Art » Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions » Permanent Collections