On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Free State of Bavaria, this year we will be showing the special exhibition “The Treasures of the Wittelsbachers”. You can see grandiose original pieces of jewelery from museums as well as from private collections that are otherwise inaccessible to the public.
As befits a European ruling house, the Wittelsbach family possessed numerous treasures to underline their claims and their importance in the aristocratic hierarchy. Among the exhibits of the exhibition are also precious items of the two most famous Wittelsbacher: Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary and fairy tale king Ludwig II. During their carefree life in Possenhofen Sisi had not carried any precious items. But as Empress Elisabeth was obliged to shine at official receptions, audiences and court balls. “This included a representative appearance with sumptuous dresses and matching jewelery”, Dr. Bernhard Graf, curator of the special exhibition on mineral days. “Elisabeth’s extravagant style is reflected above all in her jewelry.”
For example, the Viennese k.u.k court and chamber jeweler Alexander Emanuel Köchert designed the famous “Sisi stars” as jewelery for their hair. She owned 27 of these diamond stars, which she could wear as a necklace, diadem, pendants, brooches and hair accessories. Sometimes, however, she wore only simple pins with her monogram and the stylized imperial crown of Austria. After the death of her son Rudolf, however, she showed only unadorned and in the deepest black. However, she still gave away precious things, especially to her favorite daughter Marie Valérie and her granddaughter “Erzsi”.
King Ludwig. II., Who created his own world of splendor, meticulously collected gems from the environment of the French Sun King Louis XIV, including valuable precious metal seals or rare minerals. He not only decorated himself with gold, silver, freshwater pearls, heliotrope, turquoise and lapis lazuli. Even his allies and closest friends of art gave Ludwig II with the most valuable gems to his liking. His favorite composer Richard Wagner received a box of 585 gold with different diamond roses as well as Ludwig’s monogram and royal crown.
These and many other important gems can be admired in the special exhibition.