M: Our treasure chamber features especially stunning pieces from the 16th and 17th centuries, when pottery production in Siegburg experienced a late flowering. During this period, the Siegburg potteries exported less in the way of everyday pots and mass-produced ware. Instead, they focussed mainly on handsomely decorated pieces to supply the more upmarket needs of the urban bourgeoisie and gentry in the countries around the North Sea and the Baltic.
F: The still life on the wall illustrates this trend. The painter Clara Peeters portrayed a Siegburg jug right next to a silver one. That testifies to the high esteem in which Siegburg stoneware was held – and tells us that it was seen as a luxury item.
M: Among the highlights of the display are, of course, the slender jugs called Siegburg Schnellen, which you saw earlier. And also the spouted jug at the top of the showcase. This style of decoration is called chip carving and was very popular in the early 17th century. Chip carving is one of the oldest of the decorative arts.
F: The images on the Schnellen jugs are mostly taken from woodcuts and frequently depict scenes from the Bible. If you look at the jug on the turntable, you’ll see a sequence of three pictures from the New Testament story of Saul. Because of his brutality persecuting Christians, he was struck with blindness. He recovered his sight when he turned to Christ. Later he was no longer called Saul, but known as the Apostle Paul.
M: This is just one of the picture stories that would have sparked a conversation around the table at the inn.
F: Before you move on, take a moment to look at the showcase opposite. It features a temporary exhibition – on the contemporary art of the potter, perhaps, or on historical subjects related to Siegburg ceramics.
Foto: © Stadtmuseum Siegburg