In the immediate vicinity of the Bayreuth UNESCO World Heritage site “Markgräfliches Opernhaus” there is yet another cultural gem relating to the same era, which takes its visitors back to the times of the Margraves. The History Museum of the city of Bayreuth, located directly behind the Stadtkirche church, is home to the collection “Bayreuth Faiences – Burkhardt Trust”, which displays 600 exhibits in four dedicated rooms.
There visitors can see artistically outstanding specimens that were produced at the Bayreuth faience factory from 1715 onwards, initially for the Margrave, the aristocracy and the upper middle class. Especially significant are the almost unique, very thin-walled yellow and brown faiences painted with delicate gold and silver details. They form a link with the aesthetics and refined lifestyle of the rococo at the time of the Margravine Wilhelmine. At the other end of the spectrum, the display also shows the later, mass-produced jugs and tableware for everyday use.
11 information boards provide a wealth of interesting information about the faience factory in Bayreuth, what faiences are, as well as the colours and painting styles involved. In addition, there are also laminated information sheets visitors can carry around and peruse throughout the exhibition which introduce selected faiences in more detail.
The four rooms dedicated to the exhibition are located on the 1st floor of the History Museum.
To the virtual tour of the first 3 rooms.
Faience of the Month
Every month we like to present to you a special faience from the Burkhardt Collection in more detail:
Jug with Painting by Joseph Philipp Dannhöfer
Dannhöfer, who originally came from Vienna, ran his painting business as a cottage industry, buying unpainted wares from various porcelain and faience factories, painting themat home, and selling them on his own account. He was in Bayreuth around the year 1738.
This jug has no signature and no base mark, yet the painting can be clearly attributed to Dannhöfer due to stylistic characteristics. The scene is typical Dannhöfer and is executed in monochrome scarlet. A river runs through an imaginary landscape and under a stone bridge. In the foreground there are rushes and on the left we can see a waterwheel. The structures on the left-hand shore become lighter in colour and foggier the further back they are, which gives the impression of significant spatial depth in keeping with the principles of aerial perspective.
Even when it was new this jug was an extremely valuable piece. Accordingly, its fittings (the bottom ring and the lid) were not made of tin as was usual, but instead they were made of silver and in places this was even gilded.
Opening Times / Guided Tours
July and August daily 10:00 – 17:00
Rest of the year Tue - Sun 10:00-17:00, closed on Mondays
An “expert guided tour” with Dr. Habermann, who specialises in the Bayreuth faiences, is available by appointment.
€2 adults / €1 pupils, students and group members
€1 extra per person for tours
Children under the age of 6 and school groups are admitted free of charge.
Special exhibitions are included in the normal entrance price.
Historisches Museum/History Museum,
Kirchplatz 4, 95444 Bayreuth, Germany
Museum director: Martina Ruppert M.A.
Tel.: 0049 921 764010, Fax: 0049 921 7640123
If unfortunately you are unable to visit the collection in person but would like the bound catalogue with all images and descriptions, you can purchase this online using the order form at a cost of €15 (incl. VAT) plus postage and packaging (2.1 kg parcel – postage cost for Germany currently €9, for EU €20). Please note advance payment is required prior to shipping.
Registered Society “Freunde des Historischen Museums e.V.”
Acquisitions / Donations / Endowment
Maybe our exhibition has inspired you and you would like to support the work of the trust with a donation. We appreciate all donations, whatever the amount, that are kindly given to support our work. Please make your donation by bank transfer to the trust’s account, the details of which are as follows:
IBAN DE62 7012 0400 8472 0920 17
If you have discovered a special Bayreuth faience at home or have inherited one and would like to make this available to the wider public, please contact us. We will organise an expert valuation for you and will happily discuss your next steps.
With funds from the foundation and with the help of sponsors very special pieces can always be acquired. Please contact us.
Creussen Tankards and Further Links
At the antiques dealers in Bayreuth you may find special as well as typical pieces from the Bayreuth faience factory. There are two antiques businesses in the pedestrian area at the start of Ludwigstraße near the Neues Schloss. Why not pop in and have a look if you are interested in finding yourself a very special souvenir of your visit to Bayreuth?
Kunsthandel Rothenbücher, Ludwigstrasse 8, 95444 Bayreuth
Kunst am Neuen Schloss, Ludwigstrasse 4, 95444 Bayreuth
Dr. Burkhardt also set up another Trust called “Creußener Steinzeug – Stiftung Burkhardt” (Creussen Stoneware – Burkhardt Trust”), which has its home at the Scharfrichterhaus, a listed building that used to be the executioner’s house, in the town of Creussen (about 13 km south of Bayreuth on the B2). A visit to this exhibition, too, is highly recommended.