17. Jahrhundert, Privatsammlung Basel. Copyright: Historisches Museum Basel, Foto: Andreas Niemz

One of Switzerland’s most important private collections of Baroque silver is presented to the public in the exhibition Elegant Imbibing. Baroque Silver from a Basel Collection (Schöner Trinken. Barockes Silber aus einer Basler Sammlung).

A fascinating insight into the sheer variety of drinking vessels, their manufacture and use, it reveals that for all the differences, there are also parallels between imbibing today and imbibing 300 years ago.

Sailing ships filled with wine that «sail» across the table, Sturzbecher fitted with windmills and blowpipes, «miracle» wine cups and lidded jugs for up to 2.5 litres of warm beer – they are all vivid and entertaining testimonials to past drinking customs.

These artfully designed silver vessels also tell of the functions for which they were made and their role as prestige objects. Another highlight is the silversmith’s workbench that helps to explain how these beautifully hand-crafted objects were made.