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An extraordinary ensemble in an idyllic setting

Bebenhausen Monastery and Palace

Detail of the display silver in Bebenhausen Monastery and Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Janna Almeida
Exhibition in the winter refectory

Royal display silver

from Bebenhausen

The goldwork is a highlight of the Bebenhausen Palace' "medieval" decor under King Karl I of Württemberg. First installed in the Blue Hall, they later found their final place on a large open sideboard in the summer refectory.

Blue Hall with display silver in Bebenhausen Monastery and Palace, circa 1926. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Robert Bothner

Magnificent flatware in the Blue Hall demonstrated royal wealth.

Patriarchal wealth

Works by silversmiths and goldsmiths are part of the decor of the royal living areas in the palace. This followed the historic model of patriarchal households in the late Middle Ages and in the Renaissance that demonstrated their wealth through such displays of crockery. The pieces in Bebenhausen are likely the earliest documented pieces by the Hanau company Schleissner. Today, the precious pieces can once again be seen in the Blue Hall, now housed in display cases.

Display bowl by August Schleissner, circa 1870, in Bebenhausen Monastery and Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Stephan Kohls

The display pieces could even be seen at global exhibitions.

Replica and imitation

The luxurious silver pieces by Schleissner are sometimes exact copies of models from the late Gothic, Renaissance, or Baroque periods, and sometimes new designs in these styles. The Bebenhausen pieces were made between 1870 and 1875. They were presented at the great global exhibitions, the industry fairs of the time. There, they were seen by the Stuttgart court jeweler, Eduard Foehr, and purchased for the king. It is likely that the other pieces of display silver also arrived at Bebenhausen through him.

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