central european drinking culture and a royal silver dinner table

(16th -18th centuries)

We were recently informed that as a result of the fragile and unpredictable corona situation TEFAF 21, scheduled for September this year, will unfortunately not take place. 

The next TEFAF exhibition is scheduled for March 2022, for which we have immensely high hopes. 

Naturally the direct personal customer contact, on which we pride ourselves, was severely handicapped these last 18 months. Nonetheless, the publics whole-hearted involvement in a diverse array of e-medias was staggering. We are satisfied with the results this has had for our business, given the circumstance, and are thoroughly optimistic for the future. 

Following this we would like to invite you to visit our newly designed webpage. With a simple click it is now possible to arrange a personal video viewing/ appointment with us. Within which we would be more than happy to present and explain pieces, or a group of pieces, from out collection that are of interest to you. We understand that purchasing art is based on trust, the video conversation is a first-class opportunity to get to know, each other, our business and the pieces personally. 

Our offering of a video presentation enables the customer to obtain a well-rounded impression of a piece, especially from the eye of an experienced collector. Were you to be interested, we would be happy to present the object(s) of interest to you during a visit, or send it for a viewing. 

With this in mind, let’s all strive together to expand our love and passion for art in these difficult times. 

Yours Sincerely, 

Fred Matzke, Chantal Smith, Pascal Matzke. 

We are pleased to present our first newsletter in 2021. We would like to thank the Wawel Museumdirector  Prof. Dr.Andrzej Betlej and especially Mr Darius Nowacki, curator for applied arts at the Wawel Castle Museum in Krakow, who in the following essay deals with some of the outstanding objects of the Augsburg silversmiths in the Wawel Castle collection.

A visit to this wonderful museum on the Wawel in Krakow will hopefully  soon be possible again with an improved corona situation.

Helga Matzke Team, Febr. 2021


The collection of Augsburg silverworks in the Wawel Royal Castle is the biggest in Poland and contains about 80 pieces from the end of the 16th century to the early 19th century. The quality of which is comparable with the historical treasures preserved in the Pauline Convent at Jasna Góra (Częstochowa), Sanctuary of Black Madonna. The most important part of the Wawel collection – including the ones described below – are currently on show in the Royal Treasury.

Pair of the tazzas with the arms of Sigismund III Vasa (1566-1632), 1587 King of Poland

Hermann Plexen (active from ca. 1578 – after 1610), Augsburg, 1600

Inv. 6043, 8913


An Altar candlestick from the set of six commissioned by the Queen of Poland; Constance of Austria (1588–1631), 2nd wife of Sigismund III Vasa

Johannes I Lencker (active ca. 16021637), Augsburg, 1624-1625

Inv. 8434

The set was preserved in the St. James Church in Neisse near Breslau (Silesia) up until 1945. Four other items are now in Warsaw Royal Castle, Diocesan Museum in Opole, however one is missing.



Elias I Drentwett (active ca. 1617–1643), Augsburg, probably 1617

Inv. 1374

Previously belonging to János XVI Ferenc Count Pálffy (18291908), the famous Hungarian collector who resided in Pezinok and Pressburg (Bratislava) this piece was bought and placed within the Wawel collection in 1938.

The basin is decorated with representations of water deities: a nymph (or Venus) with Amor, a triton and nereid as well as putti and a putto on a dolphin.

The Wawel piece, especially in respect of the harmony of composition closest analogy to a basin from the lavabo set with arms of Carl von Habsburg (15901624), bishop of Brixen and Breslau, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order (Bayerisches Nationalmuseum).



Hans Jacob I Baur (active ca. 1622–1653), Augsburg, ca. 1630

Inv. 5728


Previously belonging to János XVI Ferenc Count Pálffy (18291908), the famous Hungarian collector who resided in Pezinok and Pressburg (Bratislava) this piece was bought and placed within the Wawel collection in 1972.

The sumptuous wine ewer of a slender body remains a tankard of colossal size. The body of it is decorated with three medallions containing figures of Bacchus, Venus and Ceres bringing to mind a sentence by Publius Terentius Afer: Sine Baccho et Cerere friget Venus. An almost identical object from the same workshop is preserved in the Kremlin Museum.


House altar

Gregor Zorer (active before 1619–1634), Augsburg, ca. 1630

Inv. 1264


There are in Poland very similar pieces from the same workshop. Notably a crucifix commissioned by the Queen of Poland Marie Louise Gonzaga (1611-1667), 2nd wife of Ladislas IV Vasa to the Convent of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary in Warsaw about 1630.

Two bowls of tazzas with scenes from the story of King Darius (?)

Johann I Jäger (active ca. 1657–1669), Augsburg, 1665–1669

Inv. 7893, 7894

Until 1939 this piece resided in the family residence of the Princes Sapieha in Krasiczyn).

Vessel in the form of the Polish Eagle from the service of John Casimir Vasa (1609–1672), King of Poland 1648–1668

Heinrich Mannlich (active 16581698), Augsburg, ca. 1666

Inv. 6033

The Polish Eagle, presenting a sceptre and a globe, is part of a table service collection made around 1666. It was convincingly proved that the service belonged to the John Casimir Vasa. Only three parts of the service are known to have survived, including the centrepiece in the shape of a monumental Eagle. The figure itself was wrought by Abraham I Drentwett (d. 1666), while the base was made by Heinrich Mannlich, who seems to have carried out the commission for his deceased colleague. Mannlich also prepared the third piece which survived – the Gotland Lion with a sceptre. Both are now in the Kremlin Museum. The Eagle was presented to Czar Aleksei Mikhailovich by the Polish envoys sent to Moscow by the King of Poland Michael Korybut Wiśniowiecki at the turn of 1671 and 1672.

Furthermore two smaller objects, characterised by their identical function as vessels with an inlet in the top of their heads, the crown is used as a stopper, and an outlet through the open beak or mouth as the spout, are known to exist. Alongside this they have similar dimensions and identical bases, with a pair of oval medallions containing allegorical scenes referring to happy rule.


Plate with the scene of the liberation of Croesus from fetters by King Cyrus

Georg Christoph Wieland (active ca. 1684–1715), Augsburg, ca. 1690-1700

Inv. 8856

This plate dramatasises an ancient histoircal scene in its centre. The rim of which is decorated in acanthus leaves with portraits of the rulers, thought to be; emperor Leopold I (1640–1705), Charles V, Duke of Lorraine (1643–1690) and his wife Eleanor of Austria (1653–1697), in the years 1670–1678 Queen of Poland and  Leopold, Duke of Lorraine (1679–1729).

Several similar plates were created in the same workshop, e.g. a plate with a scene of the triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite (Hermitage Museum). A plate with a scene from the history of Damocles (Hamburg, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe) and with the Beheading of St. Catherine (Brodick Castle).


Ewer of the Lord’s Supper with the representation of Last Supper and Crucifixion

Israel Thelot (active ca. 1654–1696), Augsburg, 1679

Inv. 5880

Beaker with cover decorated with the Triumph of Amor

Israel Thelot (active ca. 1654–1696) or Johann Andreas Thelot (1655–1734, active before 1689), Augsburg, 1689-1692


Household altar

most probably: Johannes Mann (1679-1754), Johann Valentin Gevers (ca. 1662–1732) and others

central plaque: Johann Andreas Thelot (1655–1734, active before 1689)

Augsburg, ca. 1725

Oakwood, cypress wood, rosewood, silver, gold, brass, copper, tortoiseshell, ivory, mother-of-pearl, coral, lapis lazuli, agate, carnelian, onyx, jasper, parchment, gouache

Inv. 5288

Until 1966 in the family residences of the Princes Potocki in Tulczyn and Peczara (Ukraine today), then in Krakow.

The unsigned household altar of a well-balanced architectural composition is similar to the Augsburg clocks and household altars dating from the the 17th century and earlier works from Thelot’s workshop. Such as a pair of clocks commissioned around 1700 for the Munich Residence. Direct affinities link it with the altar at the Hermitage Museum, dating from 1719, first and foremost to the table of ancestors (Ehrentafel) of the House of Wittelsbach (about 1726–1729, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum). The latter seems to be the modified upper section of the Wawel altar but inferior to it in respect of compositional merits; worth noting is also the use of identical, diverse materials. The above-adduced analogies permit the more precise dating of the Wawel object between about 1720 and 1725 and defining it as one of the more successful products of Thelot’s workshop.

The digital transformation process is in full swing. We also want to take this into account and see the possibilities of digitization as an asset that we want to use in particular for our customers.

The presentation of the objects on our website makes it possible to inform you about interesting new acquisitions and to present them with detailed photos and detailed descriptions, without a physical visit. It is always important  to provide you with as much information as possible about the respective art objects. However, this is not always easy with historical objects.

But if it is possible, as with our latest acquisition, the



forefather of the world-famous fashion designer Emilio Pucci (1914-1992),

whose innovative compositions of form and colors should revolutionize the fashion world.

in original, gold-embossed leather case


Florence: first quarter of the 19th century

Maker’s mark: MZ: “CODACCI in the trapeze” for the “Bottega di Codacci” and G.C in the rectangle for Guiseppe Codacci, see: Bemporad, Argenti Fiorentini, p. 406, no. 207 a, 207b and 207c

H of the Ecuelle 18,5 cm, Ø of the plate 21,5 cm; Total weight: 852 g.


Travel service, consisting of three parts, in an original, gold-embossed leather case, with lock and latch, protected by fine blue velvet lining. Embossed on the lid: “SOUVENIR”.

Silver; gilded, engraved, hallmarked, chased, cast, with engraved monogram.

The elegant Florentine travel service from the important workshop of the Codacci goldsmith family consists of an ecuelle with a lid, a plate and spoon.

In the center of the mirror of the plate and on the lid of the ecuelle, the coat of arms of the Florentine noble Pucci family is engraved with a leaf crown and the motto “CANDIDA PRAECORDIA” (shimmering white in front of the heart / white at heart), which is today still registered as a trademark for the Pucci fashion label.

The monogram engraving “OP” is located on the handle end of the spoon. The travel service was commissioned by Marchese Orazio Emilio Pucci di Barsento (1774-1824) and inherited within the Pucci family.

The Pucci di Barsento family

The Pucci were first mentioned in the 13th century and are among the oldest and most influential Florentine noble families. Antonio Pucci (1350-after 1416) was a politician and member of the Arte di Legnaioli. He worked as an architect on the construction of the Loggia della Signoria. His descendants were merchants, politicians, bankiers and art patrons. As a patrician, they held important political positions in Florence. During the Renaissance, the Pucci were Medici allies. They played a key role in shaping the development of Florence. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Pucci provided three cardinals. In 1662, Orazio Roberto Pucci acquired the fief of Barsento (Bari) and the hereditary title of nobility Marchese di Barsento. Orazio Emilio Pucci di Barsento (1774-1824) was Mayor of Florence from 1809-1813, at exactly the time when Élisa Baciocchi (Napoleon’s oldest sister) resided in the Palazzo Pitti as Grand Duchess of Florence. His descendants were Roberto Orazio Pucci di Barsento (1822-1891) diplomat and patron of the arts, whose grandson Orazio Pucci di Barsento (1880-1944) was the father of the world-famous fashion designer Emilio Pucci (1914-1992), whose innovative compositions of form and colors should revolutionize the fashion world.

The Bottega di Codacci

Angelo (Angiolo) di Codacci (active in Florence between 1773 and 1821) made numerous works for the Chiesa di San Lorenzo and other churches in Florence. To this day, many of his goldsmith objects are kept in the Tesoro della Basilica di San Lorenzo and in other Florentine churches, which indicates the special appreciation of the work.

The maker’s mark “CODACCI in the trapeze” was used by Angelo Codacci and his sons, Filippo Codacci (documented in 1833) and Guiseppe Codacci (documented in Florence 1825-41). In 1821, Guiseppe signed receipts for the Bottega di Codacci for the Chiesa di San Michele Visdomini. Apparently, he took over his father’s workshop this year and continued it with his brother Filippo Codacci.

A writing cassette by Giuseppe and Filippo Codacci, documented for 1833, is located in the Museo degli Argenti in Florence: its functionality is emphasized by the practical rectangular shape and clear lines, but skillfully loosened up by the targeted use of palmettes at the corners.

All three parts of our Pucci travel service are in excellent condition and of heavy quality. Smoothly polished surfaces combine with a clear, elegant design: the plate rim and lid rim of the ecuelle are framed by an elaborately worked ornamental band, an ionic kymation. The economical use of decor highlights the artistically screwed-in handles of the ecuelle, which are made of goosenecks and heads. It emphasizes the finely crafted eagle, which seems to be settling on the spherical lid knob. The high-quality execution in connection with stylish, noble decor and classicistic forms was a trademark of the Bottega di Codacci, which is clearly emphasized in the literature.

In the first quarter of the 19th century, classicistic vessel shapes, combined with artistically curved animal necks as handles or animal heads as spouts, were particularly en vogue in Florence. The reason for this, was the lasting influence of French goldsmiths from the court of Napoleon Bonaparte, such as Martin-Guillaume Biennais: Élisa Baciocchi, Napoleon’s oldest sister, equipped her parade apartment in the Palazo Pitti, during her reign as Grand Duchess in Florence (between 1809 and 1814), with silk, brocade, porcelain, bronzes and silverware from Paris. Francesco Fontani, the trade controller, complained to Emilio Pucci (Mayor of Florence between 1809-1813) that the Florentine silversmiths were more likely to sell silver objects than to manufacture them themselves. French goldsmiths already had influence during the reign of Ferdinand of Lorraine, the Grand Duke Ferdinand III. of Florence. Between 1790 and 1801 he had Guillaume Biennais’ silver dinner service completed by the Scheggi and Gaetano Guadagni goldsmith’s workshops. Exactly those goldsmith workshops were considered the most important ones next to the Bottega di Codacci in the first quarter of the 19th century in Florence. Like the Bottega di Codacci, they worked for the Chiesa di San Lorenzo.

Marchese Oratio Emilio Pucci (1774-1824) bought our travel service from the Codacci goldsmith’s workshop at the end of his life, a goldsmith’s work à la mode française, that followed the classicistic style of France, but came from Florence, which was most probably a special concern for the former mayor of Florence.


Presumably, former Court Council Dr. Ernst Marquardsen, Bad Kissingen; art auction Altkunst G.m.b.H., Freiburg im Breisgau, 27.-29. November 1928.

We were pleased to be able to take you on this little journey through time!
More photos and information about this extraordinary object can be found here.
Please feel free to contact us at any time if you would like to find out more about our objects.

Stay healthy and take care!
Best regards
your Helga Matzke team

After the standstill during the first phase of the corona pandemic, a transformation process has started which is really amazing. At first the new channels of communication and presentation  completely had to replace the visit to the museum,
but with the gradual opening of the museums it became clear once again how important and systemically relevant art and culture are for our society.

Nevertheless, the new opportunities of digitalization are an absolute gain for the museums and the public. The digital offers complement and deepen the visit to the museum in a unique and wonderful way.

With this in mind, today, after looking around the German and European museums in recent weeks for significant historical silver, we would like to present you with this newsletter some wonderful objects that are in the collections of American museums.

We wish you exciting reading and great discoveries.
We would of course be very happy if you also browse our website.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

toilet set in original leathercase
Augsburg 1743/45
14 identified german goldsmiths, Japanese Imari

Silver-gilt bowl
Cypriot, ca. 725–675 B.C

Teakettle. lamp and table
London: 1724–25

Simon Pantin I

Automaton in Form “Diana and the stag”
Joachim Friess, ca. 1620

Reliquary Statuette of Saint Christopher
French, ca. 1375-1425

Tureen with Stand
Bernhard Heinrich Weyhe,
Augsburg 1769–71

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

“La Machine d’Argent” or Centerpiece for a table
Francois Thomas Germain, Paris 1754

Teureen, Liner and stand (one of a pair)
Thomas Germain, arm added by François-Thomas Germain, Paris 1726/29

Pair of Stags
Johann Ludwig Biller the Elder, Augsburg 1680/1700

Pair of Lidded Tureens
Paul Storr, London 1807

Ewer and Basin
Abraham Pfleger I, Augsburg 1583

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

David Willaume ILondon 1708-09

Diana and Stag – Automaton
Joachim Fries, Augsburg 1610-20

Ewer and Basin
Unknown Artist, engraved P over M
London 1567-68

Sauceboat with Liner and Stand
François-Thomas GermainParis 1756-59

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Recumbent Stag Hirsch, Drinkingvessel
Unknown Artist, Nuremberg ca. 1620

Abraham Carlile, Philadelphia 1790

Paul Crespin, London 1694

Tea Canister
Louis Guichard, London 1748

Joseph and Nathaniel Richardson, Philadelphia 1777

Tea Caddy
Joseph and Nathaniel Richardson, Philadelphia 1777

The Art Institute, Chicago

Horse and Rider
Hans Ludwig Kienle, Ulm ca 1600

Tureen with Stand
marked by Jean-Françoise Dapcher
attributed to François-Thomas Germain
Paris 1773/74

Sauceboat with Stand (one of a pair)
Martin Guillaume Biennais, Paris 1794/97

Thomas Bolton, Dublin 1703

Drinking Tazza with a Seabattle
Lisbon 1550/1600

Cincinnati Art Museum

Coffee Jug
Paul de Lamerie, London 1738

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Covered Tureen with Stand
designed by 
Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier
made by Pierre-François Bonnestrenne
Paris 1735–38

Jean Baptiste Claude OdiotParis ca. 1817

Please feel free to contact us at any time if you would like to find out more about our objects.

Stay healthy and take care!
Best regards,
your Helga Matzke team

Drinking bowl, Silver partly-gilt, Brig 1664, Anton Tuffitscher
Drinking bowl, Silver partly-gilt, Brig 1664, Anton Tuffitscher
During the first phase of the Corona crisis, the art and culture world seemed to be standing completely still. At least at first glance.
But behind closed doors, creative artists and museums have opened up new channels of communication and presentation.
The new digital offers from museums and artists have been very well received in the past few weeks and have once again shown how important and above all how systemically relevant art and culture are for our society.
We are all in an important transformation process that will continue for quite a while.
A lot will change for good.

The positive attitude of the art and cultural world of recognizing new opportunities in this crisis and seizing the associated opportunities to find new formats for communication and presentation is astonishing

Therefore, today we would like to present to you the second part of our creative contribution for friends of historical silver in everyday Corona.

As in the last newsletter, we have listed a selection of outstanding objects made of (gilded) silver, which you can access by clicking on them. This time we are moving to other European countries.

Now we wish you exciting reading and great discoveries!
We would of course be very happy if you also browse our website.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
 Drinking Vessel “Riding Husar”
Cup, Nuremberg 1593-1600, Friedrich Hillebrandt
Cup with a lid, so called “Dürer-Cup”, Nuremberg around 1500
Cup of Emperor Friedrich III, Burgundian-Dutch; 3rd quarter of the 15th century
 Drinking horn, Northern Germany, 2nd Half of the 15th century

Hofburg, Vienna
Silver Collection
Altfranzösischer Tafelaufsatz, 1838 
Mailänder Tafelaufsatz von Luigi Manfredini, 1838

Wawel Royal Castle, Crakow
Treasury and Armoury

Saltworks Museum Wieliczka, Crakow
Saltcellars Collection

Heremitage, St Petersburg
Silver Mirror, Transkuban, 7th century BC 
Silver Bowl on a Stem, 1st half 13th/14th century
Silver Cup, Goldene Horde, 11th century
Rhyton, Asia, 3rd/2nd century
Fountain, Melchior I Gelb, 1640-1645
Nautilus-Cup, Pezer Wiber, Nuremberg around 1604

Kremlmuseum Moskau

Drinking Vessel “Horse of Charles I Stuart, King of England, David Schwestermüller, Augsburg 1639-49 
Ewer “Lion”, Heinrich Mannlich, Augsburg 1674
Cup with a lid, Jeremias Ritter, Nuremberg ca. 1640

Louvre, Paris
Candle Stick, Pierre Jourdan Barry, Paris 1621-51
Drinking horn, Persia, End of the 6th century 
Vessel handle in the form of a winged ibex with its hooves resting on a mask of Silenus, Persia 4th c.

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Turban Shell Cup. Jörg Ruel, Nürnberg 1600-1625
Nautilus, anonymous, around 1590
Beaker of St. Marie in Utrecht, Thijmen van Leeuwen, 1686

Victoria &Albert Museum, London
Buckelpokal, Cup and Cover, Augsburg 1480-1499
“The Mérode Cup”, France around 1400
“The Habsburg-Rosenberg Cup” Augsburg, ca 1665
Tankard, Hungary around 1600
Beaker, Grenter, Courakt, Strassburg 1560

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Monteith, George Garthorne, London 1684/85
Cake Basket, John White, London 1735
Salver, Paul de Lamerie, London 1725
Cup and cover in the form of a stag or elk, Augbsurg 1605/10

We are very happy to be able to stimulate you positively during this time. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you would like to find out more about our objects.

Stay healthy and take care!
Best regards,
your Helga Matzke team

With this article, we would like to throw our special focus onto the European drinking culture and go through some interesting facts and types of historical drinking vessels made of silver.

With this newsletter, we would like to inform you on our manifold projects and interesting acquisitions.

The preparations for TEFAF Maastricht (March 16-24, 2019) are in full swing. We do hope to welcome you at our booth, number 165. On this occasion, we would like to present you a selection of our new objects and highlights.

Cleaning Silver plate

The shimmer of the antique silver makes up the charm of an object. We give you here some advice on how to clean antique silver, like antique plates.

Helga Matzke European Silver possesses a rich collection of beakers and silver objects. We are thus very excited to have enriched our collections and present you here the new acquisitions of this season.

Still life, the art of representing inanimate objects and artefacts, inspire us time and again, to initiate a dialogue between our historical silver, painting and old masters.

The preparations for the TEFAF Maastricht (March 10-18, 2018) are in full swing and we will bring this year again our top-objects. Herewith, we would like to present you a selection of our highlights, which you will find at booth number 165.

royal silver sauceboats, 18th century

Just a few weeks away from the holiday season, we would like to present you with our newest art objects in historical silver.

Antique silver has been established over the years as a secure investment. The desire to possess and live with silver objects is also ours and for this, we would like to share our experience and perspective. More than that, we strive to be your experienced and professional expert who can guide you through the wonderful and very enriching world of historical silver.

Travelling is an activity that human beings love to undertake. Let us explore in closer detail how exactly antique silver is connected to travelling and to some objects made of it.