The due to Corona delayed opening of our exhibition at the Unesco cultural heritage Cracow Saltworks Museum in Wieliczka
was finally officially opened on Saturday, September 11th, 2022.

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.