Curiosity Cabinet Room

The room takes its name from the raree showcases on the window ledges. The delicate copperplate engravings from the 18th century which, thanks to mirror effects, produce a perspective illusion and can be seen in their special showcases. These “raree showcases” were popular up to the 19th century and can today only be found in a few museums, for instance Nuremberg, Munich, Berlin, Kassel and Aachen.

Apart from two biblical themes – the birth of Jesus and the adoration of the Magi – most of the raree showcases deal with stage themes of the Rococo society. Titles such as “Comedy in the Summer Pavilion” or “Stroll by a Fountain” depict aristocratic ladies and gentlemen in costumes of that time going about their business – doing sweet nothing – in the architecture of the 18th century. Other scenes such as the “Stag Hunt”, showing a hunt with horses and dogs, or the “Feast of Tabernacles” which depicts a masquerade with Pierrot in a theatre architecture, show various types of aristocratic pastimes of the Rococo era. Under the title of “The Freemasons’ Lodge” a raree showcase scenario gives insight into this mystical secret society which, after the foundation of the Grand Lodge of London in 1717, soon spread to other countries. In 1737 the “Loge d’Hambourg“, later known as “Absalom“, was founded and then sponsored by Friedrich, Crown Prince of Prussia. In the raree showcase one can see gentlemen in fine attire and three-cornered hats, busy with scientific apparatus; in the foreground a freemason can be seen with astronomical instruments, an armillary sphere, behind him two persons are measuring a globe with compasses.

Through the choice of motif all the stage settings provide a perspective effect: as in the garden landscapes that have depth or the architectural alignments placed at various levels giving the illusion of insight into a perspective room, the “Freemason´s Lodge”.