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Christoph Maucher. An Amber Casket Full of Mystery – Temporary Exhibition

Po lewej stronie zdjęcie fragmentu szkatuły z dekoracją w motywach roślinnych. Po prawej napis Christoph Maucher. bursztynowa szkatuła pełna tajemnic. Wystawa czasowa od 6 kwietnia do 1 grudnia 2024 roku.

Christoph Maucher’s unique 17th-century amber casket has become an object of interdisciplinary research. Its results, both those related to the artistic side of the casket and its technological aspects, will be presented at a temporary exhibition starting 6 April 2024.

The casket, itself a stand-out exhibit and a distinct part of the Malbork collection, is presented with a focus on that which has previously remained obscured.

For the very first time, visitors are able to see the exquisite interior of the casket and the underside of its lid. Various details are spotlighted, some previously undiscovered, some simply invisible at first glance, many of which are just several millimetres in size. These are displayed in their original dimensions and in the form of large-scale photographs.

The exhibition also includes commentaries explaining the goals and results of the technological analyses conducted on the casket, as well as its artistic value. The exhibition is complemented by a section centred around old amber working tools.

Considered the most beautiful artefact of its type in Poland, the amber casket is precious from the perspective of art history, as it is an example of the best works created in Gdańsk during what is known as the golden age of amber working. It stands out due to its masterful craftsmanship, themes, quality and attention to detail, as well as the technological solutions used.

Christoph Maucher moved to Gdańsk from Baden-Württemberg ca. 1670. He was not a member of the amber workers’ guild, and never became a citizen of the city. A uniquely gifted craftsman, Maucher worked on a number of amber items, and his clients included various royal courts from across Europe. He was among the most popular of Gdańsk’s amber workers, which resulted in the amber working community seeing him as competition and often trying to undermine his achievements by submitting numerous complaints and denunciations.

Christoph Maucher’s works are now on display in the largest European museums, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and Dresden’s Grünes Gewölbe.

The exhibition is part of the research project ‘A Technological Study of the Christoph Maucher Casket, the most Valuable Amber Exhibit from the Collections of the Malbork Castle Museum’. The research was conducted in 2022 at the Laboratory for the Analysis and Non-Destructive Testing of Historical Objects of the National Museum in Kraków, and was financed by the Ministry of Culture of National Heritage. The project was part of the 4th edition of the National Centre for Heritage Research contest, organised by the National Museum in Kraków.

Na białym tle w kolejności od lewej strony loga instytucji: Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego, Muzeum Zamkowe w Ma|lborku, Unesco, Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, Politechnika Gdańska.

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