Back

DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds

Museum  /  Research   Collecting
Published: 13.08.2019
DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds..
DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Open since May 2018, the new international diamond museum with a heart beating for silversmithing in Antwerp, takes you on an emotional, interactive journey that explores the different aspects of silversmithing, jewellery and of course first and foremost diamonds.​

DIVA is the new name for Antwerp’s amalgamated Silver Museum and Diamond Museum. The emphasis is on diamonds, for the city-on-the-Scheldt’s economy has revolved around diamonds for centuries. At the same, the museum is so much more than diamonds. Thanks in no small part to the exceptional collection of silverware from the former Silver Museum, it is the bridge to the world in which diamonds are truly at home, the world of glamour and luxury, the world of jewellers and silversmiths.

Exceptional silver collection
DIVA's silver collection is impressive to say the least. Deriving from the former Silver Museum in Sterckshof Castle in Deurne, the collection consists of some 1,400 silver artefacts, reflecting half a millennium of Belgian silversmithing. Best represented in the collection is silver from Antwerp, and in particular from the time of the ancien régime (the system of government prior to the French Revolution in 1789). The collection is particularly well endowed with tableware, but it also boasts items of the guild and ecclesiastical silver, toilet accessories, and even a collection of curiosities. The collection tells the story of opulent Antwerp, Flanders and Belgium.

Location steeped in history
Behind Antwerp Town Hall, where DIVA is located, traces are still to be found of a neighbourhood where for more than 500 years silversmiths lived, worked and sold their products. It has been a vibrant commercial hub particularly since Antwerp’s Golden Age. Buildings sports names like De Gulden Sterre (The Golden Star) where goldsmith Jacob van der Vijlen served two shops in 1497, and Den Luipaert (The Leopard) which housed the workshops of countless gold and silversmiths. Not far away are the houses where artists Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1690) and Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678) were born. Hofstraat is home to Den Rhyn (The Rhine) behind which is a sixteenth-century building with enclosed courtyard, the site of Antwerp’s first commodity exchange which was connected to the silversmiths’ guildhall. Also close by, on the corner of de Grote and de Kleine Koraalberg, is the building which was named Den Coraeltack (Coral House) in 1579. It was the preserve of jewellers and merchants specialized in precious stones. Finally, located close to Zilversmidstraat since 1307 are the living quarters of silversmiths, chasers and embossers. These historic extracts contextualize the museum and unearth a treasure trove of stories which provide a framework for objects from its collection and for its products. Studio DIVA, a modern workshop for silversmithing and jewellery making located on the DIVA site, also links up with this dazzling history.

Rooms of Wonder at DIVA
DIVA’s Room of Wonder. The dreamy name fires the imagination. Not only is it the first room you enter when you step inside the museum, but the Room of Wonder concept is also the inspiration for a series of upcoming special exhibitions.
A tour of DIVA’s collection starts in her Room of Wonder. In this contemporary interpretation of a Wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities and rarities, valuable objects from every corner of the globe are brought together in a cocoon of luxury. Visitors learn about Antwerp’s illustrious past, about the city that led the way in the production and distribution of art and luxury articles in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Silverware, jewellery, precious stones and exotic curiosities like coconuts, shells and coral were particularly sought after. In her Room of Wonder, DIVA tells visitors all about these objects and their collectors.
With the focus on silverware, jewellery and diamonds, DIVA wants to contribute to the wonderment, curiosity and exchange of knowledge triggered by material culture. So as part of a special programme, she has invited trailblazing guest curators to create their very own version of a Room of Wonder. These guest curators might be collectors, patrons, artists, fashion, jewellery or interior designers, silversmiths, architects or photographers. They are free to draw on the museum’s collection and supplement it with other (art) objects in a bid to shed light on the wonderment concept from different angles and link it to gemstones and precious metals.

Studio DIVA. Atelier for jewellery and silversmithing
Studio DIVA is an atelier for jewellery and silversmithing at the DIVA museum. The sessions are a combination of theory and practice and designed to recognize the value of our intangible cultural heritage and nurture it. The atelier welcomes both specialists and amateurs. We have a suitable programme for everyone. For specialists and professionals, we run master-classes in specific traditional and new techniques. For those new to the branch, DIVA offers residency opportunities in the atelier. Future silversmiths and jewellery designers can develop their technical skills and creative talent here. Amateurs can follow workshops throughout the year and our summer silversmithing ateliers are a regular part of our offering.
The atelier is also a fascinating place of learning for schools and very young children, introducing them to the chemistry of precious metals in an educational and fun way. Last but not least, visitors to the DIVA museum can visit the atelier on request an appointment.

Library
DIVA’s library collection counts about 23.000 titles and contains books, magazines, yearbooks, auction catalogues and documentation. It has two sections: the Research Library and the Special Collections.
The library’s collection profile is in line with the collections of the museum on gold- and silversmith’s art, jewelry and diamond. But you can also consult the library for: a broad collection on applied arts: metals, glass, ceramics, numismatics, design, furniture, interior design; manuals on techniques and crafts; general works on cultural and economic history, art history and styles; specialized periodicals, yearbooks and auction catalogues; extensive documentation, mainly on Belgian silver.
The library also keeps a valuable historical and cultural heritage collection, containing early printed books and modern preciosa (such as original sales catalogues/model books of Belgian silver companies and gold- and silversmiths and old manuals relating to the craft). A few gems of our library can be digitally admired on the website of Flandrica. In addition, some early printed books have been added to the Short Title Catalogue Flanders (STCV), an online bibliography of books printed in Flanders before 1801.


Standard rates
Standard rates € 10 // Combination ticket € 16
Reduced fee € 7 // Combination ticket: € 13
Free of charge up to the age of 12
Guided group tours by appointment
DIVA is cashless. As well online as at the entrance desk we only accept payments by card.

Hours

Open daily from 10 am - 6 pm.
Closed on Wednesday.

Events      View / hide events

2019:
Workshop  28 Oct 2019 - 01 Nov 2019  Handling Fine Wires. Masterclass with Giovanni Corvaja.
Exhibition  13 Sep 2019 - 16 Feb 2020  Room of Wonder II curated by Katrin Wouters and Karen Hendrix.
Exhibition view: permanent collection..
Exhibition view: permanent collection.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Exhibition view: permanent collection..
Exhibition view: permanent collection.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Exhibition view: permanent collection..
Exhibition view: permanent collection.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Reading room of the library..
Reading room of the library.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Studio DIVA. Atelier for jewellery and silversmithing..
Studio DIVA. Atelier for jewellery and silversmithing.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Unkown. Piece: Untitled, 1860. Gold, enamel, ruby, diamond.. Photo by: Dominique Provost. Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds. Necklace and bracelet.. Unkown
Piece: Untitled, 1860
Gold, enamel, ruby, diamond.
Photo by: Dominique Provost
Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds
Necklace and bracelet.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
David Huycke. Sculpture: Order & Chaos # 1, 2008. Silver, stainless steel, polyurethane.. Photo by: Hugo Maertens. Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds. David Huycke
Sculpture: Order & Chaos # 1, 2008
Silver, stainless steel, polyurethane.
Photo by: Hugo Maertens
Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Gustave Baugrand. Brooch: Peacock, 1867. Gold, pearls, sapphire, emerald, ruby, diamond.. Photo by: White Light. Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds. Gustave Baugrand
Brooch: Peacock, 1867
Gold, pearls, sapphire, emerald, ruby, diamond.
Photo by: White Light
Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Ernie Edouard. Emile Anthony. Wolfers Frères. Piece: Untitled, 1890 - 1897. Bone, silver.. Photo by: Hugo Maertens. Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds. Ernie Edouard
Emile Anthony
Wolfers Frères
Piece: Untitled, 1890 - 1897
Bone, silver.
Photo by: Hugo Maertens
Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Lacloche (Frères). Brooch: Untitled, 1926. Platinum, white gold, onyx, emerald, ruby, diamond.. Photo by: White Light. Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds. Brooch with an Egyptian motif.. Lacloche (Frères)
Brooch: Untitled, 1926
Platinum, white gold, onyx, emerald, ruby, diamond.
Photo by: White Light
Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds
Brooch with an Egyptian motif.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Wolfers Frères. Joseph Krischer Nachfolger. Vessel: Jardinière ‘aux hérons’, 1900 - 1903. Silver, metal.. Photo by: Hugo Maertens. Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds. Wolfers Frères
Joseph Krischer Nachfolger
Vessel: Jardinière ‘aux hérons’, 1900 - 1903
Silver, metal.
Photo by: Hugo Maertens
Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Meester met Drietand. Vessel: Tazza, 1548 - 1549. Silver. Photo by: Hugo Maertens. Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds. Meester met Drietand
Vessel: Tazza, 1548 - 1549
Silver
Photo by: Hugo Maertens
Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Franciscus Henricus Coetermans. Pendant: Flemish heart surmounted by trophy, 1832 - 1869. Diamond, silver, gold.. Photo by: Dominique Provost. Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds. Franciscus Henricus Coetermans
Pendant: Flemish heart surmounted by trophy, 1832 - 1869
Diamond, silver, gold.
Photo by: Dominique Provost
Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Meester met gestileerde plant. Object: Sunburst monstrance, 1715 - 1716. Silver. Photo by: Hugo Maertens. Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds. Ceremonial containers.. Meester met gestileerde plant
Object: Sunburst monstrance, 1715 - 1716
Silver
Photo by: Hugo Maertens
Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds
Ceremonial containers.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Daisy Verheyden. Pin: Untitled, 2000. Gold, diamond.. Photo by: Dominique Provost. Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds. Daisy Verheyden
Pin: Untitled, 2000
Gold, diamond.
Photo by: Dominique Provost
Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
bOb Van Reeth bOb. Wim Ibens. Object: Dish, 1991. Epoxy, copper alloy.. Photo by: Dominique Provost. Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds. bOb Van Reeth bOb
Wim Ibens
Object: Dish, 1991
Epoxy, copper alloy.
Photo by: Dominique Provost
Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Anthoni Lepies. Vessel: Windmill Cup, 1688 - 1689. Silver. Photo by: Dominique Provost. Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds. Anthoni Lepies
Vessel: Windmill Cup, 1688 - 1689
Silver
Photo by: Dominique Provost
Part of: DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Appreciate APPRECIATE