• FA-114219 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Production Technology
Glass and Ceramics
1800 - 1849
At the moment this object is not published in the museum.

Double-headed eagle made of glass beads and glass pins, Bohemia, 1845

Most people are familiar with the emblem of the double-headed eagle. In central Europe it is often equated with the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy. And yet the double-headed eagle was not invented by the Habsburgs.

Indeed, it has a long history as an insignia of power and a heraldic animal. Its distinctive double-headed motif refers to the universal empire that spanned the globe. Initially, it was the official imperial coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation; later, from 1804 to 1918, it also became the Austrian imperial coat of arms. It was only after the so-called Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 that the double-headed eagle became the joint emblem of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

In the 19th century the double-headed eagle was a popular motif in art and the applied arts. At the Vienna Trade Exhibition of 1845 Ferdinand Unger, a ‘manufacturer of glass beads and composition beads, reproduction gemstones, and similar’ presented under Exhibition No. 1163 ‘the image of an imperial & royal eagle, composed of all the categories of his articles’. The ‘emblem eagle’ manufactured at Unger’s workshops was made of glass beads, glass pins and metal elements mounted on silk.

The double-headed eagle from the collection of the Technisches Museum Vienna features the Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, the imperial orb, and a sword and sceptre. Sited in its centre is the genealogical coat of arms of the Habsburgs. The coats of arms of the Habsburg crown lands and dominions featured clockwise from top right are: Bohemia – Galicia – Lower Austria – Salzburg – Carinthia and Styria – Tyrol – Moravia and Silesia – Transylvania – Illyria – Lombardy-Venetia – Hungary.

The Habsburg monarchy was a multinational empire that stretched from Bregenz to Lemberg (present-day Lviv/Ukraine) and from Venice to Troppau (present-day Opava/Czech Republic). This vast empire was comprised of more than ten nationalities and language groups. Around 1850 it had a total population of more than 30 million and a total surface area of 668,000 km2, making it around eight times larger than present-day Austria and around four times more populous.

Manufacturer: Ferdinand Unger, Liebenau (Hodkovice nad Mohelkou), Bohemia
Production date: 1845

Inv.Nr. 62240
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