Exhibitions/ Hungarian Treasure

Hungarian Treasure: Silver from the Nicolas M. Salgo Collection

At The Met Fifth Avenue
April 6–October 25, 2015

Exhibition Overview

Nicolas M. Salgo (1914–2005), a Hungarian native and former United States ambassador to Budapest, was fascinated by the art of the goldsmith in Hungarian culture and formed his own "treasury" by collecting pieces that are individual and unique. This exhibition celebrates the gift to the Metropolitan Museum of the major part of the silver collection assembled by this focused collector over three decades.

This large collection of silver—about 120 pieces, most dating from the fifteenth to the late eighteenth century—comprises a variety of types with especially refined appearance and high levels of craftsmanship, representing Hungarian silver at its best. The earliest works in the Salgo Collection are two rare medieval chalices ornamented with colorful filigree enamel. The intriguing shapes, inventive decoration, and historical importance of the objects—products of once-prosperous local aristocratic dynasties—make this ensemble exceptional. As a result of this generous gift, the Metropolitan Museum is now the only museum outside Hungary to possess such an array of sumptuous goldsmiths' work from the region.


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On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in

The Salgo Collection

Simon Petrus Conrad (master 1771, active until 1793). Wine decanter, ca. 1780. Hungarian, Nagyszeben. Silver, parcel-gilt; Overall: 13 11/16 x 4 1/8 in. (34.8 x 10.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of The Salgo Trust for Education, New York, in memory of Nicolas M. Salgo, 2010 (2010.110.62a, b)