The Municipal Porcelain Collection
It was in 1994 that the Kronberger Haus opened its first department, entitled "Höchster Porzellan 1746–1796". Numbering approximately 750, the Höchst faiences and porcelains in the municipal collection are an impressive demonstration of the large and variegated product palette of the old "Höchster Porcellainefabrique". The exhibition acquaints visitors with the 260-plus years of the company's history as well as its production methods, and conveys a stylistic overview of its extraordinarily diverse forms and decors.
Under the artistic direction of the prominent master modeller of Höchst, Johann Peter Melchior, the old Höchst porcelain manufactory made the stylistic transition from the cheerful and playful Rococo to the rigour of Neoclassicism, with regard to both the forms and decors of its products. The precious luxury items are accordingly classified according to their artistic contexts, forerunners and models. Aspects of cultural history are likewise reflected in the presentation. One focus is on showing how the practical and the beautiful can be combined, for many porcelain objects served practical purposes in everyday life – whether on the festively laid table, during the morning toilet, as interior decoration, for private devotions or as desirable collectors items and gallantries presented as tokens of friendship and love.
As everyday customs changed over the course of the seventeenth century, so did ways of using porcelain dishes and vessels. Through the introduction of the three exotic colonial hot beverages coffee, tea and chocolate, as well as the influences of French and Spanish court etiquette, the drinking and eating habits of the upper aristocratic and bourgeois classes changed fundamentally in the eighteenth century.