Schrank zur Aufbewahrung der Schlüssel zu den Särgen der Habsburger

1895, Artist: Alexander Albert , (Hoftischler)



Schrank zur Aufbewahrung der Schlüssel zu den Särgen der Habsburger

For the funerals of members of the Imperial House the following ceremony was traditional: after the cortège arrived in the Capuchin Crypt, the velvet-lined wooden coffin was opened and the grand chamberlain (Oberstkämmerer) asked the guardian of the monastery if he recognised the deceased. Following an affirmative answer, the coffin was locked with two different keys, one of which remained with the Capuchins, while the other was given to the lord chamberlain (Obersthofmeister) and deposited in the Treasury. The keys to the coffins of the Habsburgs buried at Seckau, Bozen (Bolzano, Italy), Gmünd, Gran (Esztergom, Hungary), Linz, Mantua and Neuberg an der Mürz were also placed in the Treasury. These keys, which lock the coffins of 139 Habsburgs buried in the Capuchin Crypt and other burial places, are contained in numerous small compartments of this neo-Baroque wooden cabinet with four doors. While the oldest keys date back to the 17th century, most of them are of a more recent date. The earliest Habsburg for whose coffin a key exists is Duke Otto the Merry (1301-1339). The arrangement of the keys follows a strict ceremonial: the middle section of the cabinet is reserved for emperors and their closest relatives, while the keys to the coffins of all other members of the House of Habsburg are kept in the side sections. An ivory crucifix (Inv. No. SK_WS_XIV_33) is installed in the recess of the middle door. It was probably created around 1695 by Gabriel Grupello at the Düsseldorf court, entered the Treasury in the 19th century, and was reused for this cabinet. Originally intended for private devotional use, the type of the living and thus suffering Christ directly addresses the sensitivity of the believer. This intensity of this representation is characteristic of religious artworks of the Baroque period.

Location: Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien Raum 6

Object data

Object Name







Nuß und andere Hölzer


H. 243 cm, B. 149 cm, T. 64 cm



Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Weltliche Schatzkammer

Inv. No.

Schatzkammer, WS XVI A 24

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