There are several things about Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum that make it worthy of the rave reviews it constantly gets on Trip Advisor. Located in Mdina, it seamlessly combines the authenticity of the museum experience with the feel and setting of a lavish private home.
Photo credit: www.cassone-art.com
It’s not just a pretty structure, though – Palazzo Falson’s collections (of which there are 45 in total) are some of the most coveted in Malta, with an impressive display of everything from Oriental rugs to silverware and all else in between. The museum also houses a special library consisting of over 4,500 books and special manuscripts.
Palazzo Falson is also known for its frequent special exhibitions that showcase specific items alongside several gallery talks and other educational programmes. Previous years have seen exhibitions on whistles, pipes, scent bottle bottles, antique watches, and even a whole dedication on English artist Edward Lear.
Its current exhibition, titled Snuff Boxes: From Accessories to Objets D'art, has actually been open to the public since last December, but you’re still well in time to pay a visit. The exhibition will keep running till the 26th of February, giving you just around a month and a half to immerse yourself in this snuffbox experience.
Furthermore, the exhibition runs every week from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10 am and 4.30 pm. Not great hours for anyone working a fulltime job, but if you’re just visiting Malta on holiday or are working more flexible hours, it really is a must see, and you could make it a single stop into a whole day trip to Mdina. If you need even further motive, the exhibition is completely free of charge!
So why look at snuffboxes, of all things? Sure, the Palazzo Falson exhibition perfectly captures this historical fascination with a kind of item that might seem somewhat outdated in today’s context. Yet this is not simply a case of putting the spotlight on an item which is not commonplace anymore. The fact of the matter is that these decorative boxes have always been artistic wonders as much as they have been practical tools.
If the 200 snuff boxes Palazzo Falson has put together for this exhibition won’t convince you of that, nothing will! While many of these snuff boxes have been sourced from other museums, some of them have been gathered from private collections, meaning that Palazzo Falson is giving a first-time look into some historically noteworthy items. Other related artefacts contextualising the history of the snuffbox will also be on display.
This stunning display is a treat in itself, but the really ardent history fans might need their appetites for knowledge satiated even further. Thanks to a series of gallery talks being given in conjunction with the exhibition, this too in possible! Taking place at the museum itself are a total of three talks – one per month. The December talk has already been given, of course, but do remember to check out the next ones, as they are happening on the 20th of January and 17th of February, respectively.