Mechanical Glass Theater

Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this mechanical glass theater, which depicts the Wedding at Cana. Figurines in Venetian and Turkish costumes are seated in the loggia of a Rococo palace. The heads and limbs of each figure are lampworked in glass, and they can be moved by levers and pulls on the outside wall of the theater. In the story of the Wedding at Cana in Galilee, told in the Bible (John 2:1--12), the host runs out of wine, which signals a premature and potentially embarrassing end to the celebration. At the urging of his mother, Mary, Jesus saves the day by turning the water in six large jugs, each holding 20 or 30 gallons intended for the Jewish custom of purification, into good wine. "[T]he master of the feast called the bridegroom [...] 'Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.'"