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Lost in Berlin - Rediscovered in Prague
A Masterpiece once from the Berlin Cabinet of Art

18.09.2009 to 18.08.2010

Schloss Köpenick
Schloss Köpenick

The artistically highly significant fragment of an ivory flagon, adorned with figures of deities created by Michael Maucher was originally owned by the Berlin Kunstkammer or 'Cabinet of Art’. The work originates from around 1700 in Würzburg and was, until 1939, on display in the Berlin Palace in the Schwarze Adlerkammer as part of the Museum of Decorative Art’s collection. During the war and as part of the evacuation efforts for the museum’s collection, the flagon was housed a few kilometres away from the Palace, in the district of Friedrichshain’s flak tower (a massive concrete blockhouse that doubled as an air-raid shelter and anti-aircraft artillery platform).


How the exquisite ivory flagon eventually ended up on the Czech art market, where it was acquired by the Prague Museum of Decorative Arts in 1965, remains unknown to this day. After years of negotiations, it has now been possible to have the artwork returned to Berlin for a period of a year.