Discovering the “precious” cultural heritage of Ioannina and Epirus
The Silversmithing Museum is located in the Castle of Ioannina, in the western bastion of the southeastern acropolis (Its Kale), and is the ninth Museum of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP). It is a technological museum, as it presents the technology of silversmithing during the pre-industrial period, focusing on the history of silversmithing in the region of Epirus.
Temporally, the Museum’s permanent exhibition covers the post-Byzantine period from the 15th century onwards, without excluding references to the more distant past. The Silversmithing Museum’s goal is to preserve the knowledge relating to Epirote silverwork, disseminate information about its technology and connect this technology to the social traits of the period during which it was developed and flourished.
In the Museum’s entrance, in the imposing atmosphere of the Castle, the sound of a hammer being used to create a piece of silverwork mentally transports you to the silversmith’s workshop. With the help of different instructional means, you can discover basic traditional techniques for shaping and decorating silver objects such as raising, casting, filigree, savati (niello), repoussage and chasing. On the bastion’s second level, the permanent exhibition comprises the collection of characteristic Epirote silversmithing works, with objects from the 18th through to the 20th century.
Finely-crafted objects from Epirus with ornate details, jewellery, household silverware, personal effects, arms and martial gear are some of the objects featured in the collection. At the same time, you can easily perceive the silver objects’ nature and functionality, but also their symbolic power as, throughout time, silverwork items are a symbol of prestige, economic prosperity and social recognition.