Our owl with the Antwerp silver hallmark exhibited in Axel Vervoordt’s Wonderkamer

13th of November 2018

Axel Vervoordt has selected our goblet in the form of an owl as the centrepiece of his cabinet of curiosities being exhibited at the DIVA. Three recently-acquired pieces of jewellery also find their place in the cabinet of curiosities, which is on show in Antwerp until April 18, 2019.

Our 1549 Antwerp goblet in the shape of an owl, observes his peers in the DIVA’s first temporary exhibition entitled Wonderkamer I: Axel Vervoordt” . The King Baudouin Foundation acquired the owl, made from coconut shell and mounted in silver, in 2002 and entrusted it to the DIVA on long-term loan. Made during the Golden Age of Antwerp, this finely-worked goblet is the oldest model in coconut shell made in Antwerp.

Three of the early pieces of jewellery made by Belgian artists in the 1970s-80s are also given a place in the exhibition, namely the necklaces Torque by Émile Souply, Astronaut by Paul Van Hoeydonck and Cavalier II by Pierre Caille, all recently acquired by the Christian Bauwens Fund. Managed by the Foundation, this Fund enables pieces to be seen by the general public, and ensures that they will be handed down to future generations too.

The exhibition “Wonderkamer I: Axel Vervoordt” marks the start of a series of temporary exhibitions at the DIVA. Each will be curated by a well-known person who will propose his or her interpretation of a cabinet of curiosities. For his interpretation, Axel Vervoordt delved into the DIVA collection and completed these with pieces from his own collection and various loans. The result is a clever mix of natural history objects, jewellery and exotic objects created by ancient as well as contemporary craftsmen.

Axel Vervoordt comments: “This Room of Wonder is meant to make us ‘wonder’, inspire us and make us discover things that surprise and fascinate. Personally, I always try to look at art with the eyes of a child, without prejudices or prior knowledge, and I like to be surprised by that which my senses intuitively tell me.”

Practical information:
“Wonderkamer I: Axel Vervoordt”
Until 28 April, 2019