Now that November, The Miserable Month is upon us, my outings are more indoors. This museum of Austrian Folk Art has been on my list, and a cold, wet and windy Tuesday seemed the perfect occasion for a visit. 
The museum resides in the faded Palais Schönborn, of which there are many across Vienna, and not to be confused with Schloss Schönbrun, the Imperial summer palace. 
On the inside are a dozen galleries, each with a much appreciated English-language guidebook. Well done, museum curators!  The collection is eclectic, spanning the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and it’s easy to get confused about this, that, and the other. But there were a number of notable pieces.
Barely discernible, the writing on this Krapfenholz warns, “Farmer’s wife, bake your Krapfen (doughnuts), the threshers are here. If not, we’ll thresh you together with your butter pan.”

 Alpine cows have the most lovingly decorated bells, a point of artistic pride among farmers.

 Can you guess? This is a raincoat made of reeds. I’m not entirely sure how this would keep someone dry, though.

Window flower boxes. Not popular until the 19th century, they were “gifts of love” from boys to girls. Sweet.

An elegant lock. Houses may have been plain and utilitarian, but the locksmiths’ work was pure artistry. That must explain why getting a key copied in Vienna costs €30 or more–it is not just a key, it’s “art.”

An ordinary household cabbage shredder. That should give you some idea of the amount of cabbage and sauerkraut eaten across the empire. Even today.

 Give up?  Why, it’s a mousetrap!

This piece was interesting. The Rowan berry press, the juices of which were turned into a brandy to address “female complaints,” and administered only by the farmer’s wife. Ha. Today we call that experience  “Book Club.” (And for Harry Potter fans, the bark of the Rowan bush can be turned into wands.)

Enlisting to serve the empire during WWI was of major significance, especially for rural families. Boxes displaying the Enlistment hat decorations, along with photos of the enlistees were created with pride.

The Enlistee Hat

One could also show their support for the war effort with this porcelain war souvenir.
A couple of other items caught my eye. The “Oven Peasant Lady” tiled stove, likely used at an inn.

Painted marriage bed depicting wedding scenes.

The palais has a pretty garden, a large part of which was given over to create Park Schönborn. Too cold and wet to enjoy on my visit, though.

But it was warm and cozy at my window seat at The Pie Factory, where I enjoyed a friendly and savory curried chicken pie with a crisp ginger soda to wrap up my outing.