Dresden Tete-a-Tete Tea Set

This late 19th century porcelain tea set came from Germany. All the pieces have footed cups and the set includes a tea pot, cups, a creamer, and a sugar cup. The set has gold enamel and iridescent maroon colors. It is the finest and most beautiful tea set in the Milwaukee Public Museum. Dresden, Germany produces a significant amount of porcelain and is considered the "porcelain cradle of Europe."

"Tut" Clay Seal

The "Tut" clay seal was acquired by the Museum in the 1960s from a collector in New York. It was not until the late 1980s that a curator was working with the piece and saw the hieroglyphs for the syllable "TUT" in the cartouche. "TUT" only appears in one Egyptian pharaoh's name -- Tutankhamen. The item was reviewed by a prominent Egyptologist from Chicago, and its relationship to Tutankhamen was tentatively accepted. The seal is currently on display in the Crossroads of Civilization exhibit.

Newhall House Fire Relics

The Newhall House fire relics recall the story of one of the nation's greatest hotel disasters. Before burning down, the Newhall House Hotel was one of the finest hotels in the country. Located in downtown Milwaukee, it attracted many guests from all over the world. Unfortunately, in January 1883, the hotel burnt to the ground, leaving at least 90 dead. After the fire, locals came to the ruins and picked through the ashes for Newhall House memorabilia to take home. Occasionally burned artifacts, like this goblet, are still being donated today.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Public Museum's Milwaukee Bucks Collection holds the franchise establishment papers for the Bucks. The NBA awarded the franchise in 1968 to Wesley Pavalon and Marvin Fishman. That first season, the team struggled to win games, as is typical with new teams in the NBA, but they became successful their second season when Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Adbul Jabbar) joined the team. In addition to the papers, the collection also features the first Milwaukee game ball the Bucks used in competition plus game balls from the Bucks' appearance at the National Championship game in 1971.

Peter Glass Marquetry Table

A German immigrant, Peter Glass, crafted wooden tables with extremely intricate wooden veneer designs, which led him to win two major awards, one at the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association exhibit in 1850 and one from the American Institute of New York in 1856. Shortly thereafter, Glass moved to Sheboygan, Wisconsin and began one of his greatest feats: a table containing nearly 20,000 pieces of wood. This design depicted faces of military and political heroes, with floral motifs. Today, very few Peter Glass Marquetry tables survive.

Works Progress Administration Handicraft Collection

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was a part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal that lasted from 1935-1942. In Milwaukee, the WPA had a division that provided work for women and African Americans. This was an integrated project, a rarity at the time. Workers began with simple handicrafts, like scrapbooks, but as their skills developed, they began to make more complex crafts such as dolls (like the Honey Chile doll depicted here), rugs and furniture.

Japanese Friendship Doll

In 1926, Dr. Sidney Gullick, a missionary and educator who had lived and worked in Japan since the 1890s, created an exchange program between the United States and Japan to promote peace, friendship and understanding. Children in almost every state raised money to send American dolls to many schools in Japan. Once the Japanese children received the dolls, they in turn raised money and sent dolls back to the United States.

I.A. Dinerstein Enamels Collection

These enamels were a bequest to the Milwaukee Public Museum from Isadore A. Dinerstein, a local Russian immigrant, upon his death. The collection includes many decorative art pieces, and most notably 70 enameled objects. The enamels range in date from the 16th through 20th centuries, and come from France, Belgium, Russia, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Japan, and America. All the enamels show vibrant colors, intricate designs, and incredible detail.

Birdwing Butterflies

Birdwing butterflies, genus Ornithoptera, are named "Birdwing" for their tremendous wingspan and body size. Native to the Indo-Australian region, there are about a dozen currently recognized species plus many subspecies and forms. The museum acquired a number of representative specimens through a donation from James R. Neidhoefer and his wife, Elaine, who amassed a large collection of worldwide Lepidoptera mostly through purchases and exchanges.

The DeFlores Disney Collection

With 1500 pieces, the DeFlores Disney collection is one of the largest in a U.S. museum. The objects were collected by Lupe DeFlores and her son Cesar over a 25 year period from 1965 to the late 1980s, and include rare Disney memorabilia that shows the evolution of many of the best-known characters like Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse. The collection includes a range of items such as plates, figurines, games, lunch boxes, pails, Christmas ornaments, mugs, cookie jars, and watches.