Rheinreise Quelle des Vordherrheins / Image courtesy of Liechensteinisches Landesmuseum
VADUZ, Liechtenstein – On March 31, a new museum unlike any other in the Alps will open its doors to the public.
The Liechtenstein Treasure Chamber will focus primarily on exhibits belonging to the Princes of Liechtenstein and other private collectors.
Thanks to the generosity of the Princely Family, visitors will have the chance to admire a number of items from the Princely Collections. With over 800 years of tradition, the Princely Family of Liechtenstein is not only one of the oldest ruling families in the world but also the owner of one of the world's oldest and continually expanding collections dating back more than 400 years. Its paintings by the Old Masters and array of arms are world-famous. The exhibition will display a selection of valuable materials, paintings, weapons, hunting knives and gifts presented by kings and emperors, such as Frederick the Great and Emperor Joseph II, to the Princes of Liechtenstein.
The museum will also showcase exhibits belonging to the Liechtenstein collector Adulf Peter Goop (1921-2011), who donated his significant collection to the Principality on9 June 2010. Highlights include his famous collection of Easter eggs - the most diverse of its kind in the world - and in particular a selection of Russian Easter eggs from tsarist times unparalleled outside Russia. As well as the famous Apple Blossom Egg by Karl Faberge, the museum also features bejeweled golden Easter eggs created by other famous goldsmiths such as Pavel Akimovitch Ovtchinnikov and Alexander Edvard Tillander, gold and silver Easter eggs with intricate enamel decoration, and eye-catching porcelain and glass Easter eggs from the Imperial Manufactories. Among the latter are a number of "Tsar and Tsarina Eggs", which were commissioned each Easter by the ruling couple to present as gifts to important people.
Also on display in the museum is a selection of the "Rhine Journey" paintings completed by Johann Ludwig (Louis) Bleuler (1792-1850) around 1820/1830. Taken from the collection of Adulf Peter Goop, who during his lifetime acquired 77 of the 80 original gouaches, they depict the entire Rhine from its source to its estuary and served as inspiration for the famous engravings that were highly popular among tourists in the 19th century.
Further important objects include lunar rocks from the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 missions as well as Liechtenstein national flags which were carried on the first and last manned flights to the Moon. These were given to the Principality as a token of gratitude for the help provided to NASA by the Liechtenstein-based company Balzers AG, which at the time specialized in vacuum technology and supplied protective coatings for the space rockets.
Last but by no means least, the display also features the original design of the first ever postage stamp issued by the Principality of Liechtenstein, created by the famous Austrian artist and co-founder of the Vienna Secession and the Vienna Workshops, Koloman Moser.