The Lüneburg Council Silver

The Lüneburg Council Silver

 

 

Hans von Lafferde: Bürgereidkristall aus dem Lüneburger Ratssilber, 1443, Silber, Kristall, Glassteine, Email, 24,5 x 28,5 x 16 cm © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstgewerbemuseum

In German-speaking regions, the silver reserves of a city were known as the Ratssilberschatz (council silver treasure), which primarily consisted of opulent tableware. Over the course of the 15th century, these kinds of council treasures emerged in almost all cities in Germany. The extent of the collections became an important measure of the wealth of the city. However, few late-Gothic works from these collections have been preserved. One collection that has survived is known as the Lüneburg Council Silver, which was among the most extensive and valuable of its kind in the entire Holy Roman Empire.