Logo of Basel Historical Museum
Dunkle AnsichtHelle Ansicht
Basel Historical Museum

Objects in the collection

Basel Historical Museum has a collection comprising over 250,000 objects. A selection of these is presented here.

The scientists, scholars and collectors of the 16th century and thereafter kept Wunderkammer full of spectacular objects and works of art. Among the treasures presented are some that originally belonged to the world-famous Amerbach Cabinet.

Discover further Swiss museum collections at Museums Online.

Search Collection

Chosen Exhibits

Portrait of Johann Rudolf Burckhardt

Anton Graff, Basle, ca. 1786 – Oil on canvas – 114.5 x 84 cm – Inv. 1976.175.

J.R. Burckhardt (1750-1813) was by profession a silk ribbon manufacturer and from 1777 held …

Double portrait of Johann Peter Hebei and Elisabeth Baustlicher

dated 1814 – Carl Joseph Alois Agricola, Karlsruhe Brush drawing with body colour – 21.8 x 27.4 cm – Inv. 1953.436.

The miniature portrait, probably a study for a lithograph, shows the 54 year old vernacular …

The Peter Rot altar (closed)

Circle of Bartholomaus Ruthenzweig, Basle, ca. 1476/84 – Tempera on pinewood panel – 109.5 x 96 cm (closed) Inv. 1978.322.

From the furnishings of the Basle Barfusserkirche only one work, the Late Gothic winged …

Astronomical longcase clock

Philipp Matthaus Hahn and assistants, Kornwestheim, 1775 – Case: solid walnut; painted dials screwed on to brass disc – weights lead (ca. 25 kg) height 209.6 cm, width 46 cm, depth 29 cm – Inv. 1913.94.

Only two clocks by Philipp Matthäus Hahn with such a comprehensive system of dials are …

Portrait of Peter Burckhardt Forcart and family

dated 1775 – J.J. Kaufmann, Basle – Oil on canvas, 76 x 108.7 cm – Inv. 1991.174.

Few images from the CIS record a Basle family in its domestic setting as vividly as this …

Page from the family record of the Basle goldsmith Johann Heinrich Schrotberger

dated 1696 – Entry by a member of the Blankenberg family, Cölln an der Spree, Berlin – Brush drawing over lead pencil, 11.2 x 17 cm – Inv. 1926.77.

Among the 30 or so family registers dating from the C16 to C18 in the Museum's collection …

Painted door from the Haus zum Lautengarten, Malzgasse 28/30

Basle, ca. 1700 – Painted oak – height 206 cm, width 97 cm – Inv. 1919.61.

Ceilings and wall panellings painted with ornaments or figures had been an element of …

Portrait of the mathematician Johannes Bernoulli Falkner I

dated 1725 – G.(?) Stauder, Basle(?) Oil on canvas, 92 x 75 cm – Inv. 1991.154.

Johann Bernoulli (1667-1748), from 1705 the leading mathematician on the Continent, appears …

Double portrait of Johannes and Wilhelm Leonhard Bernoulli as children

Giovanni Moriggia, Basle, ca. 1840 – Oil on canvas – 86.5 x 70.2 cm – Inv. 1991.162.

Several portraits in the collection document the work of the Italian painter from …

Portrait of the goldsmith Wentzel Jamnitzer

Nuremberg, 1562/63 – Oil on canvas – 91.5 x 79 cm – Inv. 1920.143.

Goldsmiths' work in Germany in the C16 was profoundly influenced by Wenzel Jamnitzer, who …

Portrait of Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, called Sheik Ibrahim

Sebastian Gutzwiller, Basle, ca. 1830 – Oil on canvas – 105.5 x 89 cm – Inv. 1947.221.

The sitter, in oriental dress, was a member of the well known Basle family of scholars. As …

Marriage portraits of Bernhard Brand II and Dorothea Miiller

dated 1620 – Circle of Bartholomaus Sarburgh, Basle – Oil on panel – 112 x 82 cm – Inv. 1987.988. – Inv. 1887.103.

This typical Basle portrait of a married couple of the early C17 shows husband and wife …

Shipwreck on a rocky coast

dated 1782 – Jean Pillement, Basle – Pencil, chalk and opaque paint on paper – 72 x 105 cm – Inv. 1920.140.

This large work drawn predominantly in pastel is one of four such overdoor landscapes …

Portrait of the architect Jacob Meyer

dated 1654 – Joseph Werner the Younger, Basle Oil on copper – 30 x 24.5 cm – Inv. 1990.341.

With this small portrait of his Basle teacher Jacob Meyer the 17 year old Berne painter …

Portrait of an unknown Basle woman

Basle, ca. 1680 – Oil on canvas, 79.5 x 66.7 cm – Inv. 1990.344.

The Museum acquired this half length portrait of a Basle woman, perhaps 30 years old, from …

Portrait of Councillor Johann Jakob Thurneysen Schweighauser

dated 1781 Anton Hickel, Basle – Oil on canvas, 120 x 89 cm – Inv. 1969.374.

The portrait, painted shortly before the end of the Ancien régime, is a representative …

Poster for the Historisches Museum Basel

1894/95 – Design by Emil Beurmann – printed by Wassermann and Schaublin, Basle – Colour lithograph – height 101 cm, width 72cm – Inv. 1990.588.

On 21 April 1894 the Barfüsserkirche was officially opened as the main building of the …

View of the Rhine at Basle (detail)

Basle, ca. 1520/30 – Pen drawing on paper, with watercolour wash – 9 x 40cm – Inv. 1870.924.

The unknown artist shows the stately extension of the city, then numbering about 10,000 …

The 'Federlin' (feather) from the Burgundian spoils

Basle, before 1504 – Watercolour on parchment – 34.2 x 25.9 cm – Inv. 1916.476.

The drawing documents a piece of Burgundian jewellery, called a "feather" and intended to …


dated 1716 – Johann Rudolf Loutherburg, Basle – Oil on panel – 60.5 x 43.8 cm – Inv.1935.20.

Among the many quodlibefs (as you like it) or trompe l'oeils widespread in the C17 and C18 …

Allegory of Music

South Germany, ca. 1540 – Oil on canvas, 160 x 270 cm – Inv. 1906.2901.

This large painting, said to originate from the collection of the Basle physician Felix …

Interior view of Basle Münster looking towards the chancel

dated 1650 – Johann Sixt Ringle, Basle – Oil on canvas, 110 x 87 cm – Inv. 1906.3238.

Such interior views of cathedral churches differ from those produced in the C17 by …

View of the old French railway station in Basle

1847 – Signed G.L. Oil on canvas – 56 x 75 cm – Inv. 1934.504.

The French railway line, having advanced as far as Saint-Louis by 1839, began its service …

Landscape with ruins

Hubert Robert, Paris, ca. 1770 – Oil on canvas, 137 x 156 cm – Inv. 1950.467.a.

The celebrated landscape painter Hubert Robert (1733-1808) is represented in the Museum by …

Portrait of Charlotte Kestner

Anselm Feuerbach, Basel/Rome, 1867 – Oil on canvas – H 138 cm, W 100 cm – Inv. 1954.83.

This large, three-quarter portrait shows Charlotte Kestner (1788–1877) aged almost eighty. …

View of the Barfüsserplatz with the Barfüsser Church

Probably Würzburg, dated 1835 – Andreas Geist (1805–1860) Oil on canvas – H 25 cm, W 32 cm – Inv. 2003.119.

This little painting shows the Barfüsser Church and its surroundings as it was in 1835. A …

Miniature portrait of Jacob Burckhardt

Basel, ca. 1822/23 – Gouache on vellum – Dia. 7.3 cm (portrait only), 11.7 cm (with frame) Inv. 1965.65.

The great art historian Jacob Burckhardt (1818–1897) was born in Basel on 25 May 1818. This …

Portrait of Maria Salome Keller

Basel, 1682 – Oil on canvas – H 127 cm, W 98.5 cm – Inv. 1928.801 – Legacy of Rudolf Nötzlin-Werthemann, Basel

The four-year-old girl portrayed in this work is shown wearing an extravagant, brightly …

Basel Dance of Death: the Herald

Konrad Witz or his circle – Basel, ca. 1435/1440 – Tempera on plaster – H 56.5 cm, W 45.5 cm – Inv. 1870.692.

Basel’s famous Totentanz or Dance of Death was painted during the Council of Basel …

Altar cross from St. Katharinental Convent

Lake Constance area; ca. 1250–1270 – Beechwood, vellum, moulded stucco with gilding, rock crystal, two gems, blue glass; Corpus: tempera on chalk-primed canvas – H 99.3 cm, W 67 cm – Inv. 1905.70.

Having originally belonged to the Dominican convent of St. Katharinental near Diessenhofen …


Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

Sign up for our newsletter
Logo: FacebookLogo: InstagramLogo: TwitterLogo: YouTube
Logo: Culture inclusive
Open today from 10 AM to 5 PM
Open today from 11 AM to 5 PM
Open today from 11 AM to 5 PM
Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM