The Bavarian Treasure
Members of the Bavarian ruling family, the Wittelsbach, owned the castle from 1875 to 1945 and spent almost the entire year in the period between the two World Wars here. They moved to Munich for merely the winter ski and ball season.
The purpose of the long journey was to find the partners of young dukes and duchesses for life. In the remaining part of the year they lived a strict daily routine and in a puritan way in Sárvár.
Each and every morning the children had to wake up early, followed by riding and the breakfast. The daily meals were not taken in the Knights’ Hall, but in the lower room of the tower. The Knights’ Hall was used on festive occasions when based on contemporary postcards and photos guests were welcomed with beautiful white table-cloths.
The young spent the morning with learning and could only play in the afternoon. The young ladies knew the secrets of porcelain painting and their work can still be seen today. The rooms of the children were furbished in the wing where the most beautiful objects of the Bavarian memorabilia can be observed today. The puritan lifestyle of the family could be seen in the fact that the young had rooms with only one window.
At the end of World War II. the family decided to move back to Sárvár and large train convoys brought most of the objects and equipment home. In one of the corners of the building they hid objects of art, which belong to the highest quality ones of European and Asian industrial art. Following the opening of the Museum 1952 the chests were found and the secret of the objects was unveiled. The valuable objects are presented ever since during exhibitions in the Museum.
The first saloon after the Knights’ Hall gives a little insight into the memorabilia of the Bavaria dynasty. Visitors can see ceramics from the 18th and 19th century and silver objects. Engravers objects from Vienna and Munich porcelain from Nymphenburg, Meissen and Vienna. A saucer and a mug, made in Paris in the period between 1798 and 1838, stand out of all the objects with carved and pressed silver embellishments. The porcelain sweets etui was made at the end of the 19th century in one of the porcelain workshops of Japan. Porcelain made in Arita was shipped in one of the harbours of Kyushu, in Imari. The situation with Japanese export ceramics is the same as with Chinese ones, i.e. they do not reflect the own taste but have more embellishments and more varied colours than the pieces made for local users. Porcelain made in Arita uses different techniques like the combination of sub-coating blue and red with gold paint.
Well-known pieces of porcelain from Meissen and Vienna are remarkable pieces of our collection, however also the Nymphenburg memorabilia are worth seeing. The Bavarian Prince-Elector, Max Joseph III. founded the manufacture 1747, however at this time they did not have great results. The biggest problem was the painting of porcelain as they did not have the proper equipment but patience proved its worth and at the end of the first decade of production, the first pieces were made. The state manufacture moved from 1761 to Nymphenburg castle, which was once the summer residence of the Wittelsbach family. One of the characteristic features of porcelain was the gold embellishment along the edges. The workshop finally became competitive with its colourful decoration. The series of vases, catching the eye with natural, idyllic sceneries, are also characteristic. The chocolate set for 12, with Bavarian landscapes painted by Ferdinand de Fubure, was manufactured in the middle of the 19th century. Another set showing different ways and events of hunting from the beginning of the 20th century was manufactured in the same workshop.
Further everyday and decorative objects of the Bavarian royal family are presented in two rooms of the wing after the saloons. The first, smaller room shows objects with marble-imitation paintings. In the corner at the window you can see the painting of Julius Lange called “Alpine Landscape”, showing the former Partenkirchen. It was made 1849. In front of it there is a table decoration with mirror (Surtableau) with a soup bowl, the work of German engravers from the second half of the 19th century. Underneath there is a large sized knotted Persian carpet from the 19th century. Opposite the landscape there is a floor vase on the carpet from Berlin form the period 1844-1849, showing images of the German capitol. In the next room we should first mention the two paintings by Joseph Stieler, who later gained reputation as the court painter of the Bavarian king, Ludwig I. The paintings show the Bavarian king Max joseph I. (1806-1825) and Queen Caroline (1841). A silver plate from Nuremburg from the middle of the 17th century is the highest quality of artisan blacksmithing, showing mythological scenes on its well and allegoric depictions of the four seasons on its lip. The everyday objects were manufactured in famous workshops are the works of such skilful artists as Abraham and Christianus Drentwett from the 18th century, or Adolf Carl Holm and Johann Peter Müller. Parts of a female travellers’ set are excellent objects of the French Empire style made in Paris. The male travellers’ set from the middle of the 19th century is the product of Mayerhofer and Klinkosch from Vienna. Works of Joseph Weber, Bartolomeo, Mayerhofer and Edward Wollenweber are indications of artisan blacksmithing from the middle and the second half of the 19th century. The white porcelain cutlery for 24 was made in Berlin at the beginning of the 19th century and we exhibited one piece of each type.