The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace

Welcome to the 325th Tablescape Thursday!

We’re going to Europe this week, to Vienna, Austria thanks to Elena, who generously shared pictures from her trip there. While in Vienna, Elena had the opportunity to tour the Hofburg Imperial Palace where Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth lived during the period of the Habsburg Empire.

On a visit to the palace, Elena was able to tour the museum that houses the Imperial Silver and Porcelain Collection…and it is jaw-dropping!

The Hofburg Palace

Above Photo from Wikipedia

Elena said, “The museum is 13,000 square feet and houses 7,000 pieces of porcelain, silver, and gold leaf ware.  The original collection (while the Hapsburgs were still in power) included 150,000 pieces.” Amazing!

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (23)

 

This is the famous gold “Milan Centerpiece,” which is almost 30 meters long! I can’t imagine what the value of this piece must be.

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (14)

 

A view from the  other end…

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (3)

 

Can you just imagine the opulent dinner parties held in the palace!

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (15)

 

I’m going to hush and just let you stroll through the museum and enjoy!

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (20)

 

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (27)
The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (1)

 

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (2)

 

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (4)

 

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (5)

 

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (6)

 

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (7)

 

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (8)

 

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (9)

 

Elena said the napkins were 36 inches square. They were that large so they could be folded into really elaborate napkin folds.

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace

 

Imagine how long it must have taken to fold each napkin.

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (10)

 

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (12)

 

The website for the museum states the museum holds “porcelain from East Asia, Sèvres and Vienna as well as panorama plates, Fayence china, gold- and silverwork – among them the Vienna Court Silver as well as the Grand Vermeil Service, an elegant table service for 140 persons.” I wonder if these plates below are the panorama plates.

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (17)

 

It’s more art than dishware, isn’t it? I can’t imagine ever eating or serving food from these dishes, even back in the day!

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (18)

 

In addition to all the gold, there is a lot of silver in the museum, too.

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (19)

 

Beautiful candelabras!

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (16)

 

More beautiful porcelain…

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (21)

 

I wonder if this was their “official” china bearing the family crest.

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (22)

 

Hope you enjoyed touring the museum and thanks so much to Elena for sharing her beautiful pictures!

The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace (24)

 

Looking forward to all the beautiful tablescapes posted for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

Tablescape Thursday

 

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Comments

  1. Wow, I still get chills when I see the photos. It’s hard to imagine what the original 150,000 piece collection must have looked like.

    Have a great day, Susan :0)

  2. Susan, did my previous comment go through? My internet had a hiccup while I was posting the comment.

  3. Maddie Davis says:

    Very cool, won’t get to Vienna, thanks for taking us there. My 15 year old son even liked it!

  4. Linda Page says:

    How many tablescapes could you do with all of this china? Maybe a couple of years worth?? Wow! Such beautiful pieces. A comment on napkins: in several house tours it has been mentioned that cloth napkins used to be much larger as they were used for the entire week and one would use a different napkin section each day. A new napkin was only put out if a guest was joining the table. The folded section facing up was the section used that day and a napkin was used by same person all week. No napkin sharing!! My mom told me that they used the same cloth napkin for several meals (9 people at each meal) as my grandmother was very frugal and had enough laundry to do without washing a ton of napkins that week and they could not afford multiple sets of napkins. Interesting, huh? Love all the museum pictures. Great shots.

    • Thanks for the info Linda and I loved hearing about your frugal grandmother. I remember my husbands step-father would reuse his paper napkins! My grandmother would use her tea bags more than once. Things sure have changed. Vikki in VA

    • Thanks for sharing that, Linda. I’ve read that’s how napkin rings really began, folks needed a way to keep up with which napkin belong to each family member. After a meal, they would tuck their napkin back into their monogrammed napkin ring to make sure they got their own napkin for the next meal. Of course, today we just use napkin rings for decorative purposes. I love that your Mom shared that with you, Linda…it so fascinating to hear how things were back then from someone who actually experienced it.

  5. How beautiful! Thanks for the trip to Europe this morning :)! Have a joy-filled day!
    Blessings, Pam (www.everydayliving.me)

  6. OMG….drooling over all of these pics…how wonderful! That porcelain collection is to die for…love it all.

  7. Wow, just wow!!!

  8. Simply incredible Susan, the opulence is hard to imagine! Thanks for the table top fun~

  9. These photos are stunning, what an incredible experience it must have been to take this tour. Susan, thank you for hosting Tablescape Thursday, I look forward to it each week.

  10. Susan, I am not sure if my comment went thru…? These pictures are stunning, and thank you for hosting each week. I always look forward to it.

  11. Wow, gorgeous porcelain and amazing craftsmanship of all the items.

    I am blown away by the gold “Milan Centerpiece” which I did not know about. I can image those dinner parties!

    The napkin folds are incredible. So creative and beautiful.

    Thanks for TT.

  12. Wow! I would have loved to tour that place!…Christine

  13. Just incredible! I don’t think I could eat off it that’s for sure, Susan! Thanks for the party.

  14. Kathy Hammett says:

    I cannot imagine using knives on any of those plates. I’m afraid my guests would have to eat with their fingers, tearing meat apart with their hands… Interesting info on napkins! I’m guessing Franz and Elizabeth had a larger than average homes goods budget. Wow!

  15. Those pics are fantastic….what a collection! Such beautiful patterns of china! Thanks for featuring Elena’s photos! 😉

  16. What a stunning collection! Now this has to be on my bucket list! I can’t imagine how much more impressive this would be in person. What a treat for those of us who adore dishes!!

  17. Thanks for the tour, Elena. I see several porcelain/china patterns I like to own, but can’t imagine eating off the gold ones.

  18. Stunning collection! I think it’s a safe bet that burgers and fries weren’t served on these! Can you imagine the upkeep involved?

  19. How lovely, here is the link for my submission to Tablescape Thursday.

    Regards, Valerie

    Nutcracker Suite Tablescape
    http://candlelightsupper2.blogspot.com/2014/12/nutcracker-suite-tablescape-dedicated.html

  20. Wow! That centerpiece is jaw-dropping! They sure knew how to throw dinner parties. Can you imagine eating off of such opulent plates? Thanks for sharing this with us, adding it to my list of travel to dos.

  21. bobbi duncan says:

    Thank you both for this amazing tour. I so love beautiful porcelains! Can not even imagine the value of all the pieces. The angels on the gold Milan display look almost identical to two we put out at Xmas, except for the fact that ours are not made of real gold…but, I love them just the same. Austria is such a gorgeous country!

  22. MAZING!!! Thank you for this awesome tour and all the stunning eye candy…wow! I adore gorgeous porcelain dishes and servers and the gold pieces are not least either! I am going back to drool on every china you and Elena shared with us.
    Thank you for this great party.
    FABBY

  23. Kathryn Hodgson says:

    I’ve been to this palace/museum and quite a few other castles and palaces in Austria and Germany. To see all this live, with your own eyes, is just phenomenal! Pictures just can’t depict the rich colors, etc. And the jewels on display will take your breath away! Now I need to go find my boxes of pictures and reminisce. Thanks for sharing Elena!

  24. Wow! That was amazing. And no, I cannot imagine a dinner party at that palace. It would be so over the top, I wouldn’t be able to eat a bite. Thanks for sharing all of this beauty, Susan and Elena.

  25. Oh…this is SO wonderful. Thank you Elena!! When I was in Vienna the things I wanted to see most were both closed. The porcelain collection was closed the week I was there and the Opera House. I won’t be going back so thank you for sharing your pictures so I finally see the collection. No chance you have pics of the opera house?? 🙂

    • Hi Tess, we didn’t make it to the opera house. Even though we were in Vienna for three whole days, we just didn’t have enough time to see everything. What a beautiful city! :0)

  26. Hi Susan,
    Wow, that really had some gorgeous dishware. Would like to be a fly on the wall for one of those dinner parties……….
    Thanks for sharing this and thanks to Marie Elena for allowing you too.
    Blessings, Nellie
    Hope this finds you doing well hon.

  27. Jaw-dropping? More like BODY dropping!!!!!! Good grief! You could have knocked me over with half a feather! What an incredible collection! What a shame we can’t play in THOSE dishes!!!

    I am really impressed with the napkins! I think I’ll ask my handy dandy seamstress neighbor to make some 36″ napkins for me. Not that I’d be folding them in nearly the elaborate fashion as those shown (who on earth DOES that?!??!! Their carpal tunnel situation must be just unreal!!!!!), but they sure would be nice to have.

    So nice of Elena to share these fabulous photos! I’m gobsmacked!

  28. Susan, I love this post and it brings back such happy memories. My husband and I took an extraordinary trip to Vienna and Budapest a number of years ago. We actually had dinner inside the Hofburg, but I am not sure we were served our meal on any of this glorious china. However, it was definitely an experience of a lifetime!!

  29. My goodness Susan, Elena certainly provided a feast for the eyes with her beautiful pictures. I don’t think I could ever allow silverware to be used on any of this beautiful china (could you imagine utensil scratches on these beautiful plates?). I would have to say finger food only! Thank you so much for sharing and of course thank you for hosting Tablescape Thursday too.

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