Metals

The “Metals” section is extensive, embracing the subgroups iron, copper, brass, bronze and tin (but not gold and silver, which form part of the art historical sections). The metals mentioned were for centuries the main materials for producing numerous objects, especially for daily use.

The great importance of metals as a material in former times is reflected not only in their quantity but also in their variety. Categories deserving special mention are the collection of bells, the extensive holding of works of the blacksmith's and locksmith's art (keys, locks, mounts, railings, gargoyles, wind vanes, weathercocks), the collection of about 80 stove plates from the high period of ornamental iron casting in the 16th century, the pewter collection comprising roughly 700 objects, among them the outstanding sacred pewter vessels from the Basel Cathedral Treasury.

The “Metals” section is a source of the first importance for research into the arts and crafts of the Upper Rhine and in particular Basel in earlier centuries; it provides scholars with important information on the cultural and economic history of the region.

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