The Tales of Things

Cosmetic and toiletry set of the Duchess Dorothea

In 2013 Count Théodore Medem gifted a collection of family relics to the Rundāle Palace Museum, which in 1918 his grandfather had transported from Stukmaņi and Vecauce Manors to Germany and then onto France. This gift also includes a porcelain cosmetic and toiletry set of Duchess Dorothea – altogether 22 items manufactured at the Royal Porcelain Manufactory (Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur or KPM) in Berlin. More…


Historical dresses

Fashion is not only about clothes or a type of applied arts, it also a social manifestation. Fashion is lifestyle, interior, resorts, pets. Fashion is everything that surrounds us.’ (Alexandre Vassiliev in his book ‘I Am Fashionable Today’).
Two exhibitions at the Rundāle Palace Museum – ‘18th Century Fashion’ and decorative art exhibition ‘From the Gothic Style to Art Nouveau’ have been supplemented with outfits More..

Vases of the Duchess Dorothea

On 18th October 1791, Dorothea, Duchess of Courland, wrote from Berlin to Karl von Manteuffel, the proprietor of Blankenfelde Manor: ‘His Highness gifted five large, magnificent porcelain vases to me, dark blue with gold and exquisitely painted.’ (This letter is in the collection of the National Library of Latvia.) More..


Candle holders given as a present to General Mārtiņš Peniķis

Each object’s journey to the Museum is different. To complement the Museum’s collection, two elegantly forged silver Biedermeier style candle holders were acquired for a price of 3000 roubles from Olga Aleksandra Justīne Peniķe (1901-1991) on 30 October 1986. Both candle holders have an identical engraving on the obverse of their foot: ‘To Army Commander General Peniķis – Minister of War, Division, Regiment and Battalion Commanders 1921-1935.’ More..

Chair from the Green Dining Room in the Catherine Palace

The stunning Neoclassicism style chair was acquired by the Rundāle Palace Museum on 5 May 1981, purchased in Riga from R. Ostapkovičs. It was made in 1783 following the design of architect Charles Cameron (1745-1812) and was initially situated in St Petersburg in the Green Dining Room in the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo. More..

Hearth hooks

Back in the days when meals where prepared daily on an open hearth over a fire, each household had various utensils and appliances to ease the cooking process. Originally, these were constructed from wood, later – forged iron. One of the most essential kitchen utensils was a device used for suspending the cauldron.  More..

The portraits of Medem family from Eleja Manor

In Spring 2018, while furnishing one the last rooms in the exhibition ‘From the Gothic Style to Art Nouveau’ dedicated to Historicism, it became apparent there was a shortage of portraits that would enable the viewer to experience the presence of the previous owners of exhibited items. And at the very moment from the faraway Chile arrived a proposition from Count Alejandro Medem about the acquisition of his grandparents’ portraits. More…

The portrait of Charles I

Recently a very large painting (276 x 217 cm) was displayed on a wall in one of the ground floor rooms of the Rundāle Palace Museum. Many will recognise portrayed in it Charles I of England, painted by Anthony van Dyck. The portrait on show at the Louvre Museum is one of the most famous depictions of this tragic monarch and portrays him on a hunt assuming a proud posture with romantic coastal scenery in the background. More…