M: The bowls, amphorae, jugs and cups we’re showing in the following rooms demonstrate the range of local pottery production and its standards of quality.
F: In here, you’re spoilt for choice – which of these beautiful pieces would you like to look at first? Let us help you by suggesting you head over to the large display case on the wall. It gives an overview of ceramics production in Siegburg from the 11th to the 18th century.
M: Do you see the slender jugs that taper slightly towards the top? They’re on the middle shelf and very beautiful. This type of 16th century jug is called a “Schnelle” and they were famous. The decoration is especially stunning – there are floral ornaments and flowering vines as well as figural scenes with subjects from mythology and the Bible.
F: One very popular type of earthenware vessel from this period was known as a Bartmannskrug. Bartmann translates as “bearded man”, and indeed, the neck of this type of jug features a medallion showing a man with a beard. There’s one on the top shelf.
M: Now for a little culinary tale – which involves the spherical pots. They’re earthenware, which is made of poor quality clay. But earthenware can cope with being exposed to heat, so it’s perfect for cooking. On the other hand, the earthenware pots aren’t water-tight, so they were less suitable as drinking vessels or storage containers for food. However, during the Middle Ages, Siegburg’s potters learned to fire their clay at especially high temperatures. That triggered a process called "sintering", and the result was stoneware, which was completely water-tight. But – it could no longer be used for cooking, because it cracked if it was exposed to fire.
F: In the free-standing showcases, we have a display of drinking vessels from the 13th to the 15th centuries. They give a good impression of the changing shapes over the years.
Fotos: © Dagmar Trüpschuch