In the past, different kinds of objects were made of valuable materials such as gold and silver. This led to the division of the Rijksmuseum’s precious metal collection, which counts more than 3000 objects, into seven sub-categories: large silver objects, silver cutlery, plaquettes, miniatures, enamel on copper and gold, mounted objects and gold boxes.
The sub-collection of close to 1000 large silver objects is the most important. In the past, silver was produced almost everywhere in the Netherlands. Only the Rijksmuseum offers a unique overview of it from the Middle Ages to the Second World War. Various masterpieces by European silversmiths place the collection in an international context.
The mounted objects – consisting of costly materials set in gold or silver – represent another important sub-category. The approximately 70 16th and 17th-century objects made of rock crystal and precious stones, including blood jasper and chalcedony, are simply unique. Not to be overlooked are some Italian highlights, such as the vases made for the Elector of Saxony before 1585. Moreover, the various Central European centres of production are also represented.