Unique tableware exhibited

White Gold of Herend — Porcelain for Kings exhibition is first step in co-operation between Belarusian and Hungarian museums

By Yekaterina Sviridova

The exhibition at the National Art Museum includes around 130 porcelain items of the highest quality, manufactured by Herend Porcelain Manufactory. Visitors have an amazing opportunity to assess the mastery of Hungarian porcelain artists, viewing wares supplied to famous royal courts.

The unique decorative-and-applied art of Hungary includes vases and candlesticks, in addition to tea, coffee and dinner sets with the ‘Rothschild Birds’ pattern. The latter is connected with the Hungarian family of Rothschild, who ordered dinner sets depicting 12 birds from Herend back in the mid-19th century. The pattern is associated with a legend stating that Baroness Rothschild found her lost necklace on a tree branch surrounded by some birds. The pattern is also being known for being chosen by the late Princess Diana for its usage as her wedding dinner set.

For over 185 years, Herend goods have been used by such eminent personages as Russian emperors Alexander II and Nikolay II, German Emperor Wilhelm I, the royal families of the United Kingdom and Nothern Ireland and of Belgium, Japan’s Emperor, the sultans of Brunei and Oman, Thailand’s King and members of most royal families in the Habsburg Dynasty. The famous company’s porcelain has also been owned by the barons Rothschild and the Princely Family of Liechtenstein, in addition to other prominent cultural figures.

“In March, Hungary traditionally celebrates the anniversary of the 1848-1849 revolution, so this date inspired us to create an exhibition,” noted the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Hungary to Belarus, H.E. Mr. Ferenc Kontra, at the solemn opening at the National Art Museum of Belarus. “In 2011, the Herend factory is also celebrating the 185th anniversary of its foundation, so it was decided to showcase this unique tableware at an exhibition.”

The Director of the National Art Museum, Vladimir Prokoptsov, believes that the exhibition will inspire further collaboration between our two states’ museums. “We plan to continue our interaction with the Hungarian Embassy to Minsk while implementing new projects between the museums of our countries. We hope that Belarusian exhibits will also go on display in Hungary,” admits Mr. Prokoptsov.

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