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Manual - Mechanical
19th Century Glasses from the Museum of Decorative Arts' Storerooms

01.07.2010 to 02.01.2011


This exhibition contains around 300 exquisite examples of decorative glasses from the 19th century and deliberately coincides with a major conference by the Deutsche Glastechnische Gesellschaft (an association centred on technology, physics and chemistry in the field of glass, as well as glass art and history), to be held in Berlin from 17-19 September 2010. On display are Neoclassical urn-shaped cups dating from the Napoleonic era, lovingly painted glasses from the Biedermeier era, richly polished service items, vessels in all manner of unusual shapes and colours, as well as drinking glasses with a distinctly modern, unadorned and simple look.


In the second half of the century, foreign cultural influences, such as those from the Middle East and the Far East, also left their mark on glassmaking. A wide range of different finishing techniques pay testament to the age's great craftsmanship, while new colours reflect the interest in science among the glassworks owners. In the age of industrialization, both of these attributes became essential for the glassworks to survive. The glasses on show here were primarily created in remembrance of people, journeys or political events. They all ended up in the museum's collection through different ways: some were royal gifts, others were purchased at World's Fairs.

The exhibition is part of a series of smaller exhibitions which aim to present to the public long-hidden treasures from the Museum of Decorative Arts' own storerooms.