The ‘Green Bands’ Service was an exquisite gift given by the French king Louis XV to Maria Theresa to mark the renversement des alliances and the beginning rapprochement between the ruling Bourbon and Habsburg dynasties following the devastating Wars of Succession.
The service is an impressive example of the outstandingly elegant products made in the French porcelain manufactory at Sèvres, founded in 1734.
In 1777 Emperor Joseph II visited his sister, the French queen Marie Antoinette. On his return he brought back five hundred precious porcelain objects, also from the Sèvres manufactory, including the apple-green dinner service and four magnificent tureens.
The Gold Service is the most elaborate and magnificent porcelain service of the Viennese court. Made with twelve place settings, all the individual pieces of the dinner service are predominantly gilded on both sides. A masterpiece of craftmanship from the
Vienna porcelain manufactory, the Gold Service was made in 1814 for the great peace congress in Vienna. It served as a replacement for the magnificent gold service from the eighteenth century that had been melted down for coin in 1797 during the Napoleonic Wars.
The pieces belonging to the Meissen Service preserved in the Silver Collection are not uniform in shape; some of them date back to the first half of the eighteenth century, and the forms were subsequently adapted to changing fashions, displaying elements such as antique ram’s heads and neoclassical knobs on dishes and tureens.
Founded in 1710, Meissen is the oldest European porcelain manufactory. Under the management of Count Camillo Marcolini the factory mark was altered between 1774 and 1780 and became famous all over Europe as the Marcolini mark (a star below the hilts of the crossed swords). Made around 1775, the Meissen Service is notable for its magnificent flower painting.