Coin-Cabinet of the Elector Maximilian I. of Bavaria
H. 85 cm
From the Chamber-Gallery of the Elector Maximilian I. of Bavaria in the Munich Residenz. Assigned from the Royal Coin Cabinet in 1874
Inv. No. R 4909
Baroque and Rococo
The precious shrine which held the Elector's collection of gold coins from antiquity is absolutely unique. This major work of European ivory art of the Baroque period is decorated with microscopically detailed ivory reliefs: on the front with allegories of antiquity and numismatics; on the back with depictions of Nimrod and Romulus, the founders of the empire and the city of Rome. Scenes with musicians decorate the inner sides of the doors. An emperor on horseback as victor over four kings crowns the shrine. The combination of ivory and lapis lazuli represents ultimate luxury and is a reference to the colours of the Wittelsbach coat of arms. The shrine was protected by a richly inlaid case. The opening of the case and shrine can be imagined as a spectacle that Maximilian I granted only to selected guests.