Exposition : « Forged Together. Masters in Silver », Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, jusqu’au 17 janvier 2021
The Tax and Customs Museum opens again on 9 June 2020. Silver fuses the collections of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Tax and Customs Museum during Boijmans Next Door. Stunning silver goblets, tobacco boxes and salt cellars are being rehoused from the Museumpark to the Parklaan.
The combination of Dutch silverware and paintings in which these items are depicted makes the exhibition ‘Forged Together: Masters in Silver’ into much more than the sum of its parts. From 16 March 2019 to 17 January 2021 visitors can admire silver showpieces and paintings by Dutch masters such as Jan Steen and Gerard Dou in the Tax and Customs Museum.
Masters in Silver
Between 1807 and 1987 the guarantor for gold and silver in the Netherlands was the Ministry of Finance. In addition to maker’s mark, city coats of arms and letters indicating the year of production, silver items were also stamped with tax marks. The assayers, who determined the quality of the silver, have literally left their mark on silver items in the collection of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. This process is also revealed in the exhibition, which includes objects used by the assayers, such as their punches.
Silver Objects as Painters’ Models
The twenty-five costly goblets, salt cellars, teapots, terrines and tobacco boxes are shown in a different perspective in the Tax and Customs Museum. Some of them are even shown upside down so that the tax marks are visible, telling the story of the taxation of silver. Several seventeenth-century paintings from the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, such as ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’ by Jan Steen (1661) and ‘A Young Woman at her Toilet’ by Gerard Dou (1667), show the role and significance of silver objects as painters’ models. The remarkable silver christening goblet ‘Jack in the Cellar’ (1622) made by the Dordrecht-based silversmith Jan Hermanszoon van Ossevoort tells the visitor its own story. And identical christening goblet is depicted in a seventeenth-century luxury still life by Peter Willebeeck that was gifted to Museum Boymans in 1910 by the Rotterdam-based collector Dr Elie van Rijckevorsel (1845-1928), an earlier resident of the Parklaan.