Vienna Circa 1780: An Imperial Silver Service Rediscovered

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Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010 - Decoration and ornament - 112 pages
Last seen by the public at the beginning of the twentieth century and once believed lost, the ensemble has been partially reunited in this book--and the exhibition it accompanies--and placed in the context of contemporary silver work from other European cities. In the process, Wolfram Koeppe surveys the heady atmosphere during what has been called the Golden Age of Ceremony and traces dining etiquette during its transition from the elaborate parade buffets that incorporated ostentatious displays of silver treasures to the slightly less-cumbersome service a la francaise, which allowed for all dishes in a particular course to be placed on the table at once. Hosting an appropriately grand and socially correct banquet further entailed carefully conceived seating plans and napkins folded in elaborate shapes intended to reflect the relative hierarchy of the guests.
 

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