Litugical Objects of Metal

The collection of liturgical metal objects covers chalices, monstrances, reliquaries, altar and floor candlesticks and other objects closely linked with the liturgy. Religious objects were acquired in the very first years after the foundation of the Museum; in this period, there was an important donation of 1893 in which the Museum was given a collection of silver objects from the Church of St Catherine’s in Zagreb. During the 1930s, objects were acquired on several occasions from the Berger collection, today the biggest and most important unit in the collection. We can date most of the objects from this collection to the 18th century, but unluckily because of the extensiveness of the collection, the display shows only a small number of selected exhibits. Liturgical objects that come from Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic churches enable an insight into the quality of the furnishings of religious structures in Croatia. The objects mainly come from domestic workshops, or were imported from the leading European centres, mostly Augsburg and Vienna.

The most numerous units consist of chalices, the earliest of which is a gothic chalice from Vođenica by Dubrovnik, originating in the 14th century. In this group of objects, several specimens of the 16th century stand out, including two chalices that can be related to the Zagreb goldsmith workshops of the period about 1500.

The 14th to 16th century era is represented with a few more exhibits: with fittings of a cross of the 14th and 15th century, probably done in domestic dalmatian workshops, and a ciborium of the first half of the 16th century.

A number of fine examples of chalices and monstrances stand out from the baroque, rococo and neoclassicist periods; these are high quality works of Austrian and German making, acquired in well-known European goldsmith centres.

Several artistic works are included in the permanent display of religious art – a chalice by Ivo Kerdić done about 1930 and a silver relief of the Placing in the Tomb by Hrvoje Ljubić.

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