Himalaya: Listen. Learn. Grow.

4.8K Ratings
Open In App
title

Vienna Hofburg - Imperial Apartments, Sisi Museum, Silver Collection

Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H.

2
Followers
79
Plays
Vienna Hofburg - Imperial Apartments, Sisi Museum, Silver Collection

Vienna Hofburg - Imperial Apartments, Sisi Museum, Silver Collection

Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H.

2
Followers
79
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Details

About Us

Until 1918 the extensive palatial complex at the heart of Vienna was the political centre of the monarchy. Today it fulfills the same role for the democratic Republic of Austria. The rooms where the Congress of Vienna met and danced and where Emperor Franz Joseph held audiences, now houses the offices of the Federal President, the ministers of the chancellor’s office and the secretaries of state. This sprawling, asymmetric complex of building with its 19 courtyards and 18 wings is also home to numerous cultural institutions, ranging from the Spanish Riding School to the Austrian National Library. The Vienna Hofburg is a must for anybody wanting to explore the world of the Habsburgs. A single ticket opens the doors to three fascinating locations of Austria’s imperial heritage. In the Imperial Silver Collection magnificent dining services, centrepieces measuring up to 30 metres in length and exquisite napery give an impression of the lavish pomp of imperial banquets. The Sisi Museum conveys a complex picture of Empress Elisabeth with numerous, partly very personal objects on display which afford fascination insights into the official and private worlds, of this unique woman. Visitors to the Imperial Apartments will gain an insight into the world of Austrian’s most illustrious imperial couple. The nineteen rooms in the apartments occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth, comprising studies, residential suites and reception rooms, are all furnished and decorated to the highest standards of historical authenticity, and in their comparative restraint form a fascinating contrast to the exuberant splendor of the imperial summer residence at Schönbrunn.

Latest Episodes

01 - Intro

www.hofburg-wien.at | Download Tour-Guide (PDF)© by Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H.

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
01 - Intro

02 - Imperial Silver Collection and the Copper Display Case

After the end of the Habsburg monarchy in 1918, several departments of the huge but now defunct imperial household were amalgamated under the name of the “Court Silver and Table Room“ and opened to the public in 1923 with displays of objects from the collection of porcelain, the Court Confectionery, the Court Wine Cellars, the Court Kitchens and the Court Linen Room. On your tour today you will encounter various aspects of the former imperial court household and gain an insight into the glittering world of Habsburg banquets. In front of you is a selection of copper vessels, pans and moulds which convey an idea of the range of different activities carried out in the court kitchens: the turbot kettles, water kettles, asparagus pans, the “Olio cauldrons” and the warming dishes which held live coals in their lids to keep the dishes warm – all of these objects testify to the enormous effort required to cater for a court household numbering up to 5,000 individuals. Copper moulds were...

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
02 - Imperial Silver Collection and the Copper Display Case

03 - The Old Silver Room, various services, silver cutlery

In the first room of the Old Court Silver and Table Room with its oak display cases dating from the time of the monarchy you will see individual items or pieces from Old Vienna, Hungarian and Bohemian services as well as examples of white and gold sanitary porcelain from Bohemia. Note the fine glass services made by the firm of Lobmeyr in Vienna with different variations in the way they have been cut. The green glasses were used for Rhenish wines. The display case in the centre of the room contains the imperial silver cutlery. This is still used today for state banquets. The first large set was supplied by Stephan Mayerhofer before 1837; later orders went to his successors Mayerhofer and Klinkosch and subsequently to Joseph Karl Klinkosch, Purveyor to the Imperial Household. A special feature here is the decoration on the side of the cutlery: the ever-popular fiddle and thread pattern.

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
03 - The Old Silver Room, various services, silver cutlery

04 - Court table linen, place setting of service used for state visits

The central display case contains items from the imperial Linen Room. Up to 1872 the linen of the imperial household was marked with various stamps and yellow dye; it was not until later that monograms and crowns were embroidered on the individual items. Towels and bedlinen used to be made exclusively of fine white linen. It was not until the end of the 19th century that towels made of piqué, and later of terrycloth, came into use. Various porcelain services in the display cases provide a picture of how tastes changed over the course of time. At the beginning of the 19th century the tableware for everyday use in the reigns of Emperors Franz I and Ferdinand I changed very little: plain white porcelain with a smooth gold rim; only the imperial eagle gives any clues as to the current fashion or the individual style of the craftsman who painted these items. In the display case to the left of the doorway to the next room you can see pieces from the “State Visit Service” which was used...

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
04 - Court table linen, place setting of service used for state visits

05 - Sanitary porcelain

Before Empress Elisabeth had her own bathroom installed in 1876 – the first member of the Austrian imperial family to do so – the palace had no bathrooms in the modern sense of the word. Even after this, the majority of those belonging to the court household had to make do with sets of sanitary porcelain consisting of washbasins, water jugs, footbaths, shaving bowls, soap dishes, chamber pots and so on. While these sets were not uniform, the majority of items were made of white porcelain and decorated with a gold rim and a gold imperial eagle.

39 s2011 MAY 2
Comments
05 - Sanitary porcelain

06 - Minton Service

A remarkable exhibit here is the unusual English dinner service that Empress Elisabeth gave to Emperor Franz Joseph for his hunting lodge at Offensee. Dating to 1870, it was designed by William Coleman and is decorated with naturalistic representations of insects, birds, sea creatures and plants.

24 s2011 MAY 2
Comments
06 - Minton Service

07 - Grand Vermeil

The Grand Vermeil is without doubt one of the most important services in the Court Silver Room. A major work of French goldsmith’s art, it originally included articles for 40 place settings. Around 1850 it was enlarged to 140 settings by Viennese silversmiths. Today this magnificent service consists of a total of 4500 items and weighs over 1,000 kg. It is made of fire-gilt silver which is called “vermeil” in French. It also has an interesting history, being closely connected to the rise and fall of Napoleon. The person who commissioned this sumptuous service in 1808 was probably Eugène de Beauharnais, Napoleon’s stepson. It was executed by the Parisian goldsmith Martin-Guillaume Biennais and the Milanese goldsmith Eugenio Brusa. The service was intended for use at the court in Milan, where Beauharnais governed as viceroy from 1805 to 1814/15. After its completion the service was brought to Milan, but following the defeat of Napoleon the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia fell to Austr...

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
07 - Grand Vermeil

08 - The Vienna Court Table Silver

This is the last room in the old part of the former Court Silver and Table Room. In the central display case are silver plates, bowls, casseroles and terrines which give an impression of the range of court table silver needed for daily use. The solid silver service bears the imperial arms and is notable for its simple and restrained elegance. The large amount of silverware can be explained by the fact that the Viennese court dined off silver or gold plates. Porcelain, which had been produced in Europe from 1710, was for a long time only used for the soup and dessert courses; all other dishes continued to be served on silver plates. It was not until during the 19th century that porcelain services began to be used for meals taken in the family circle. The showcases to the side contain gilded table decorations; the stands for sweetmeats and the bronze-gilt girandoles are part of the New French centrepiece which you will see later on in the tour.

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
08 - The Vienna Court Table Silver

09 - Service used for State Visits

The historic dinner service known as the “Court Form Service” which was used for state banquets up to the year 2000, far beyond the end of the monarchy, was made at the Vienna Porcelain Manufactory. The silver plates formerly used at court for dining were demoted in the Republic to serving as cover plates, while the food was served on the porcelain service known in the era of the Republic as the “State Visit Service”. It has a white ground, a delicate gold rim with a pattern of dots and a double eagle in black, red and gold. It is also interesting in terms of technique: the decoration was applied to the porcelain by means of a lithographic gold and polychrome transfer process, a technique invented around 1855. From this time onwards, hand-painting was superseded by the rationalised processes of mass-production. Silver cutlery made by Josef Carl Klinkosch and glasses by the company of Josef. & Ludwig. Lobmeyr complement the State Visit Service. The crowning feature of the place s...

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
09 - Service used for State Visits

10 - Elisabeth, her travelling service and the Miramare Service

Whenever Empress Elisabeth travelled to the villa called the Achilleion that had been built for her on the island of Corfu, she used the yacht Miramare. On board she used a specially made dinner service and cutlery made of silver-plated alpaca; the pattern of the service was from the range offered by the Arthur Krupp metalware factory at Berndorf around 1890. The only clue to its illustrious use is an engraved coat of arms with a dolphin surmounted by the imperial crown. On the other side of the display case you can see further items bearing the famous dolphin mark which decorated all the objects that were for the personal use of the empress during her stays in Greece. The silver cutlery also displayed here was made by a Trieste silversmith and was also intended for use at the Achilleion.

55 s2011 MAY 2
Comments
10 - Elisabeth, her travelling service and the Miramare Service

Latest Episodes

01 - Intro

www.hofburg-wien.at | Download Tour-Guide (PDF)© by Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H.

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
01 - Intro

02 - Imperial Silver Collection and the Copper Display Case

After the end of the Habsburg monarchy in 1918, several departments of the huge but now defunct imperial household were amalgamated under the name of the “Court Silver and Table Room“ and opened to the public in 1923 with displays of objects from the collection of porcelain, the Court Confectionery, the Court Wine Cellars, the Court Kitchens and the Court Linen Room. On your tour today you will encounter various aspects of the former imperial court household and gain an insight into the glittering world of Habsburg banquets. In front of you is a selection of copper vessels, pans and moulds which convey an idea of the range of different activities carried out in the court kitchens: the turbot kettles, water kettles, asparagus pans, the “Olio cauldrons” and the warming dishes which held live coals in their lids to keep the dishes warm – all of these objects testify to the enormous effort required to cater for a court household numbering up to 5,000 individuals. Copper moulds were...

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
02 - Imperial Silver Collection and the Copper Display Case

03 - The Old Silver Room, various services, silver cutlery

In the first room of the Old Court Silver and Table Room with its oak display cases dating from the time of the monarchy you will see individual items or pieces from Old Vienna, Hungarian and Bohemian services as well as examples of white and gold sanitary porcelain from Bohemia. Note the fine glass services made by the firm of Lobmeyr in Vienna with different variations in the way they have been cut. The green glasses were used for Rhenish wines. The display case in the centre of the room contains the imperial silver cutlery. This is still used today for state banquets. The first large set was supplied by Stephan Mayerhofer before 1837; later orders went to his successors Mayerhofer and Klinkosch and subsequently to Joseph Karl Klinkosch, Purveyor to the Imperial Household. A special feature here is the decoration on the side of the cutlery: the ever-popular fiddle and thread pattern.

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
03 - The Old Silver Room, various services, silver cutlery

04 - Court table linen, place setting of service used for state visits

The central display case contains items from the imperial Linen Room. Up to 1872 the linen of the imperial household was marked with various stamps and yellow dye; it was not until later that monograms and crowns were embroidered on the individual items. Towels and bedlinen used to be made exclusively of fine white linen. It was not until the end of the 19th century that towels made of piqué, and later of terrycloth, came into use. Various porcelain services in the display cases provide a picture of how tastes changed over the course of time. At the beginning of the 19th century the tableware for everyday use in the reigns of Emperors Franz I and Ferdinand I changed very little: plain white porcelain with a smooth gold rim; only the imperial eagle gives any clues as to the current fashion or the individual style of the craftsman who painted these items. In the display case to the left of the doorway to the next room you can see pieces from the “State Visit Service” which was used...

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
04 - Court table linen, place setting of service used for state visits

05 - Sanitary porcelain

Before Empress Elisabeth had her own bathroom installed in 1876 – the first member of the Austrian imperial family to do so – the palace had no bathrooms in the modern sense of the word. Even after this, the majority of those belonging to the court household had to make do with sets of sanitary porcelain consisting of washbasins, water jugs, footbaths, shaving bowls, soap dishes, chamber pots and so on. While these sets were not uniform, the majority of items were made of white porcelain and decorated with a gold rim and a gold imperial eagle.

39 s2011 MAY 2
Comments
05 - Sanitary porcelain

06 - Minton Service

A remarkable exhibit here is the unusual English dinner service that Empress Elisabeth gave to Emperor Franz Joseph for his hunting lodge at Offensee. Dating to 1870, it was designed by William Coleman and is decorated with naturalistic representations of insects, birds, sea creatures and plants.

24 s2011 MAY 2
Comments
06 - Minton Service

07 - Grand Vermeil

The Grand Vermeil is without doubt one of the most important services in the Court Silver Room. A major work of French goldsmith’s art, it originally included articles for 40 place settings. Around 1850 it was enlarged to 140 settings by Viennese silversmiths. Today this magnificent service consists of a total of 4500 items and weighs over 1,000 kg. It is made of fire-gilt silver which is called “vermeil” in French. It also has an interesting history, being closely connected to the rise and fall of Napoleon. The person who commissioned this sumptuous service in 1808 was probably Eugène de Beauharnais, Napoleon’s stepson. It was executed by the Parisian goldsmith Martin-Guillaume Biennais and the Milanese goldsmith Eugenio Brusa. The service was intended for use at the court in Milan, where Beauharnais governed as viceroy from 1805 to 1814/15. After its completion the service was brought to Milan, but following the defeat of Napoleon the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia fell to Austr...

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
07 - Grand Vermeil

08 - The Vienna Court Table Silver

This is the last room in the old part of the former Court Silver and Table Room. In the central display case are silver plates, bowls, casseroles and terrines which give an impression of the range of court table silver needed for daily use. The solid silver service bears the imperial arms and is notable for its simple and restrained elegance. The large amount of silverware can be explained by the fact that the Viennese court dined off silver or gold plates. Porcelain, which had been produced in Europe from 1710, was for a long time only used for the soup and dessert courses; all other dishes continued to be served on silver plates. It was not until during the 19th century that porcelain services began to be used for meals taken in the family circle. The showcases to the side contain gilded table decorations; the stands for sweetmeats and the bronze-gilt girandoles are part of the New French centrepiece which you will see later on in the tour.

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
08 - The Vienna Court Table Silver

09 - Service used for State Visits

The historic dinner service known as the “Court Form Service” which was used for state banquets up to the year 2000, far beyond the end of the monarchy, was made at the Vienna Porcelain Manufactory. The silver plates formerly used at court for dining were demoted in the Republic to serving as cover plates, while the food was served on the porcelain service known in the era of the Republic as the “State Visit Service”. It has a white ground, a delicate gold rim with a pattern of dots and a double eagle in black, red and gold. It is also interesting in terms of technique: the decoration was applied to the porcelain by means of a lithographic gold and polychrome transfer process, a technique invented around 1855. From this time onwards, hand-painting was superseded by the rationalised processes of mass-production. Silver cutlery made by Josef Carl Klinkosch and glasses by the company of Josef. & Ludwig. Lobmeyr complement the State Visit Service. The crowning feature of the place s...

1 min2011 MAY 2
Comments
09 - Service used for State Visits

10 - Elisabeth, her travelling service and the Miramare Service

Whenever Empress Elisabeth travelled to the villa called the Achilleion that had been built for her on the island of Corfu, she used the yacht Miramare. On board she used a specially made dinner service and cutlery made of silver-plated alpaca; the pattern of the service was from the range offered by the Arthur Krupp metalware factory at Berndorf around 1890. The only clue to its illustrious use is an engraved coat of arms with a dolphin surmounted by the imperial crown. On the other side of the display case you can see further items bearing the famous dolphin mark which decorated all the objects that were for the personal use of the empress during her stays in Greece. The silver cutlery also displayed here was made by a Trieste silversmith and was also intended for use at the Achilleion.

55 s2011 MAY 2
Comments
10 - Elisabeth, her travelling service and the Miramare Service
success toast
Welcome to Himalaya LearningClick below to download our app for better listening experience.Download App