Foreign Applied Arts and Foreign Furniture Collection
The Kadriorg Art Museum’s collection of applied art includes about 1,500 items. The collection is very diverse in both materials and geographic range.
The porcelain collection, which includes items from China, Japan, Russia, Germany and a few other European countries, is the largest. The most significant is the collection of Russian porcelain, which includes product samples – both tableware and figures – from many different factories. A set of Soviet Russian propagandist porcelain from the 1920s, which is comprised of a few dozen pieces, is of special value. In addition to the porcelain, the ceramics collection also includes Delft faience and German earthenware.
The majority of the pieces in the glass collection are 19th-century products from workshops in Western Europe and Russia. In the metal collection, the majority of the pieces, made from non-precious metals, are candlesticks and vases. Other materials, such as stone, wood and ivory, are represented to a lesser extent. A collection of 25 fans, the oldest of which date back to the middle of the 18th century, is also very valuable.
The Kadriorg Art Museum’s furniture collection includes about 150 items. The collection of historical furniture that belonged to the museum before World War II was destroyed in a fire during the war and, therefore, the present furniture collection has only developed during the last half century.
The main part of the collection is comprised of furniture in the neo- styles of the 19th century, such as several especially commissioned pieces of furniture in the Neo-Renaissance style from the Muuga Manor in Virumaa that belonged to the imperial court artist Carl Timoleon von Neff. There are also some earlier pieces, the most valuable of which are elegant secretaries from the middle of the 18th century, as well as a lightweight, white set of seats in the Neo-Classicist style. The Russian Empire style is represented by cabinets with metal inlays, tables and, above all, some richly decorated armchairs. Examples of the Biedermeier style, with its simple lines, come from Western Europe and Russia: cabinets, sofas, tables and chairs.