FROM JUNE 17 2011

A tribute to «objects of virtue» with a new permanent exhibition room

Toiletry mounted with a clock, signed by Thomas Parson London, circa 1770
gilded copper, chalcedony, garnets, diamonds and enamel Donation from Rodes (1887) Inv. 2846



Parc du Cinquantenaire 10


Tel: +32 (0)2 741 72 11
Website: www.rmah.be
Email: info@mrah.be


Tuesday to Friday: 9.30 AM - 5.00 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 10.00 AM - 5.00 PM
Closed on Mondays, 1st May, 1st and 11th November, 25th December, 1st January


5 € / 4 € / 1.50 € (price of the permanent collections)


Bart Suys, Service Communication
Tel: +32 (0)2 741 73 00
Email: b.suys@mrah.be

The affluent and the powerful have always enjoyed surrounding themselves with small, precious and elegant accessories. These luxury objects were intimately linked to the various aspects of their daily lives in such a way that, for each activity, they had a corresponding panel of refined accessories. During the 18th and 19th centuries this tendency took on such proportions that one can truly talk of a fashion phenomenon. The Cinquantenaire Museum presents in a didactic and attractive manner a discovery of this art of living.

Jar: Orpheus and Eurydice in the Garden of the Muses. Roller engraved Bohemia Crystal Silesia, 1st quarter of the 18th century
Legs Vermeersch, 1911 Inv. V 494

Candy jars, dance cards and miniatures…

The themed selection includes, among other objects, dance cards, snuff boxes, candy jars, boxes for beauty spots, perfume bottles and toiletries of different types. Hand fans too, used to be indispensable fashion requisites. The selection presents exceptional examples dated from the 17th and 19th centuries. The collection of jewels includes both pieces of great value and sentimental headdresses, among them some very rare works of hair. The watches and watch-making accessories are among the most unique pieces in Europe, both from the aesthetic point of view as well as technical. The section dedicated to glasses and optical accessories shows that in this field as well, very early on, there was a luxury production dictated by fashion. The miniatures that close the itinerary trace the evolution of a forgotten aspect of the art of portraits, through its different technical and stylistic expressions.

Venetian style Glass Boot, decorated with filigree. Southern Netherlands, Antwerp, end of 16th - beginning 17th centuries Inv. 538

Initiation to glass

The renewal of the cloister area ends with a room dedicated to five centuries of glass. The Cinquantenaire Museum actually owns a remarkable collection of prestigious decorative and useful glasses made in Europe between the 15th and 19th centuries. As an introduction, the museum offers a presentation of specimens from the Antiquity, accompanied by a film on the production of glass, while the end of the itinerary allows us to admire a few works by creators of the 20th century. The whole glass collection is presented in an attractive manner, completed by explanations on the historical context and the techniques, initiating the non initiated mortal to a specific vocabulary and wise concepts: roemer, berkemeier, tazza, zwischengoldglas

The great hours of crystal

The Venetian glasses and glasses in the Venice manner, made as of the end of the 16th century and throughout the 17th century in Antwerp, Liège and Brussels, are the icons of the collection. Special attention is granted to the production of the Bonhomme family, such as the famous «snake glasses». The glasses engraved with a diamond point, with a stipple or a roller, exhibited in the room, are beautiful samples of the technique of surface decorations. There are also samples of cut crystal from Bohemia, renowned for its finish. Further on, examples of crystal from Voneche are presented. It is at the origin of the crystal shops of Baccarat in France and the Val-Saint-Lambert, the institution with the same fame in Belgium.

To see more illustrations, click on VERSION FRANCAISE at the top
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