VIENNA CIRCA 1780 AN IMPERIAL SILVER SERVICE REDISCOVERED
In 2002, shortly after the Metropolitan Museum acquired two Viennese silver wine coolers from the Sachsen-Teschen Service, the core of the surviving parts was discovered in a French private collection. This superb ensemble was last displayed at the end of the 19th century and was believed to be lost. Made by Austrian Imperial court goldsmith Ignaz Josef Würth, the so-called Second Sachsen-Teschen Service comprised more than 350 items, including wine coolers, tureens, cloches, sauceboats, candelabra, candlesticks, and serving implements, as well as 24 dozen silver plates and pieces of porcelain-mounted silver and gold cutlery. Representing the splendor of royal dining during the ancien régime, the service was made for Duke Albert Casimir of Sachsen-Teschen (1738-1822) and his consort, Archduchess Marie Christine of Austria (1742-1798), daughter of Empress Maria Theresa. The ensemble will be partially reunited at the Metropolitan Museum and placed in the context of contemporary silver from other European cities.