F: A large map, with a small showcase featuring Siegburg ceramics next to it, and a ship, a cart and a wicker basket in front of it. But how do they all fit together?
M: The drinking vessels you see in the free-standing display case were custom pieces. For example, Siegburg Abbey ordered jugs for the table, but the same jugs were also exported. This installation is designed to show how such orders were delivered – and of course, that applies to all Siegburg stoneware.
F: Trade with foreign countries was conducted via the Hanseatic League, an association of merchants. The ordered goods were sent by boat via the River Sieg and the Rhine to Cologne, and shipped from there to the rest of the world.
M: In Siegburg and the surrounding area, peddlers delivered to the front door – mainly products for everyday use. They carried the stoneware in a kind of big wicker backpack called a Kiepe.
F: The cart was used to distribute the goods to important trading towns in the Rhenish-Bergisch region.
M: The three models – wicker basket, cart and ship – represent the three distribution channels.
Please feel free to touch the models and find out more.
F: If you’re wondering about the significance of the installation in the large showcase on the left-hand wall – it has nothing to do with trade. With its damaged clay pots and finds trays, it’s a reference to large-scale excavations here in Siegburg, specifically to the mound of broken pottery known as the "Scherbenhügel" in Aulgasse, which was excavated by the archaeologist Bernhard Beckmann between 1961 and 1969.
M: As we mentioned earlier, Aulgasse used to be the alley where the potters had their workshops.
Foto: © Dagmar Trüpschuch