This history of the Vienna Silver Chamber goes back to the fifteenth century. The office of Silver Chamberlain is first documented at the Vienna court of Emperors Frederick III and Maximilian I. The holder of this office was responsible for the table silver, table linen and the setting of the imperial table.
Over the course of time the Silver Chamber gained in importance. Its various responsibilities were divided between the Court Kitchen, the Court Confectionery, the Court Linen Room, the Court Cellars, the Court Silver and Table Room, the Court Depot of Victuals, the Court Firewood and Coal Depot and the Court Light Room, that is, the offices that regulated the imperial household.
After the end of the Habsburg monarchy in 1918 also the court household was dissolved and the imperial holdings passed into the ownership of the Austrian Republic. While a number of items were sold off, the majority remained in the Court Silver and Table Room. Of these, a part remained in use for formal state banquets and dinners given by the republic while others were put on public view in the former offices of the Silver Room from 1923.
The Silver Collection was opened on 1 April 1995 and responsibility for the running of the museum was handed to Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H.
Today around 7,000 items from the total of 150,000 in the collection’s holdings are displayed over an area of 1,300 m².
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