|Silver tureen and stand. Ignaz Joseph Würth. 1779-1782. Photo: Metropolitan Museum|
Another mystery about this object was its gilt lining, which can be seen clearly in the photo below. The probable explanation for this, was that this small tureen was actually designed for serving pickled radish pods. The vinegar in the pickle would chemically attack silver, but not neutral gold, so the Archduchess's pickled radish pods would be untainted! This a nice example of how food history studies can inform decorative arts scholars about the forgotten purpose of an item of table equipage.
|Detail of the tureen, showing the radish pods and the gilt lining. Photo: Metropolitan Museum|
|Rat tailed radish pods in the Food History Jottings garden|
|Farley's recipe, or in truth, a recipe pinched from another author.|
|The young radish pods soaking in salt water|
|The finished radish pods in their pickle of vinegar. Note the long pepper and horseradish added for flavour|
The tureen belongs to the so-called Second Sachsen-Teschen Service, which comprised more than 350 items. Dr Koeppe curated the wonderful exhibition about the service Vienna Circa 1780: An Imperial Silver Service Rediscovered at the Met in 2010.
Learn more about the Second Sachsen-Teschen Service
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