Symeon with Jesus Child, figurative hive, 1782 (?), Manor House near Lwówek Śląski, Lower Silesia
The Museum's collection of modern and ancient figurative hives features a group of so-called Apostles of a Manor House near Lwówek Śląski – a renowned example of Lower Silesian monumental sculpture. Records show that figurative hives could be found throughout the region before the WW II. Even then, the group of Apostles - the property of an established local bee-keeper, Gottfried Überschaer (1750−1830) – was described in local and foreign magazines and also recommended as tourist attraction of special interest.
Scientific studies indicate various dates of the hives' origin (from 16th to 18th century) and different hypothesis regarding their authors. Researches however tend to promote the thesis about father G. Überschaer having commissioned or even made himself some of the element in Lwówek Śląski around 1800. Later the group would be enlarged by successive owners.
The name 'Apostles' is probably associated with the original number of basic hives of the group which was associated with twelve Apostles. In 1920 there were 20 hives mentioned in the records and displayed in the Manor House on a specially prepared roofed manor. Today the Museum possesses 13 well preserved hives and a fragment of a fourteenth one. Supersize figures depict intriguing artistic images of Moses, the Archpriest, Symeon with Child Jesus, a bishop, a nun, a guard, apostles, a fiancé with a fiancée and also women dressed in regional costumes.