Silver Cabinet

In the large room-cabinet a selection of the silver from the 18th-century Matthéy Collection is presented. Teo Matthéy (*1901 †1989), born in Wuppertal, was a textile wholesale merchant in Aachen, who bequeathed both his villa on Theaterstraße 67 and his formidable art collection to the City of Aachen. After a special exhibition in 1989 in the Suermondt-Ludwig- Museum, pieces from the Matthéy Collection are on exhibition again for the first time on a larger scale in the Couven Museum.

Precious silver coffee and chocolate pots, tea caddies and sugar bowls are arranged with two large candlesticks on a table. A particulary elaborate piece is the English tea-set by the London silversmith, Samuel Taylor (1749). This tea-set has two tea caddies for Indian and Chinese tea and a lid sugar bowl in a leather-bound wooden case with scrollwork. There are also wooden-handled chocolatières in the typical bulbous Rococo form with the extravagant Rocaille ornamentation from France or Piedmont (Giovanni Fino, around 1780) and a large Empire coffee pot, from Brest, after 1780. The elegant pot sits on three tapering canalised feet with extravagant garlands and oval reliefs with images of ancient imperial profiles. The spout is ornamented with a sculptured mascaron, the black ebony handle with carved garlands. A Meissen porcelain jug from around 1720 with silver mounting shows the alliance between the two precious materials in artistic perfection.

The refined silver refers both to the tradition of the baronial silver cabinet in the early modern times, where wealth was an indication of power, and to the high estimation of the new warm drinks, coffee, tea and chocolate, which were given credit to in costly pots, caddies and cups.