The silver Tell

Undoubtedly one of the most glorious objects in the museum is the Silver Cup, which King William III of the Netherlands (1817–1890) had made as a gift to the Federal Shooting Festival in Lausanne in 1876.

It was designed by the French sculptor Émile-Coriolan Guillemin (1841–1907). The vessel weighs over 12 kg and four men worked on it during a whole year. The front shows the battle of Sempach on 9 July 1386. According to legend, Arnold von Winkelried threw himself into the lances of the enemies to bring about the victory of the Confederates against the Habsburgs with his sacrificial death. The back of the trophy depicts the Battle of Murten, which took place on 22 June 1476 between Swiss troops and the Burgundian Duke Charles the Bold (1433–1477). The cup has always been in the collections. Finding out where it came from is a mystery still to be solved.