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Branderszaal, Amsterdam

A vitrine (from Latin vitrum , "glass") is a container that has a glass wall (from French vitre , 'glass'; Latin vitreum , 'glass') or a glass lid on at least one side and thus has a view of the items stored inside allowed. A synonymous German name for the showcase is the showcase .

Mobile showcase in the Duke's Castle in Straubing with exhibits on German writing

The function of the protective container is usually to use selected and often sophisticatedly presented objects for exhibition purposes. The purpose of protection is to protect the exhibits from unauthorized access, damage from unintentional mechanical influences, harmful climatic influences, dust and excessive light radiation.

Special showcases can be produced for outstanding individual objects or for groups of objects. In public institutions such as museums , they form the central part of exhibition installations. Authorities of all kinds use wall cases for the publication of official notices. Comparable with this are the wall boxes of associations that are used to post messages to members or, in the special case of flag and trophy boxes, for representative storage of selected objects from the institution's property.

In the private sector, showcases are of great importance for the presentation of sales objects and product samples. Unlike shop windows , these are located inside a shop and serve to protect and present the display. Showcases ensure protection against infections (e.g. from sneezing), and often also have climatic properties like a refrigerated showcase or a hot counter as a bain-marie .

Formally, the mobile showcases are to be distinguished from exhibition facilities that are firmly anchored to the floor and those that are connected to a building. Their construction can include bases of different materials and integrated lighting devices. The included showroom of any size can consist entirely or only partially of glass walls. Showcases can be equipped with various types of security to prevent the theft of the objects shown.

display case

A showcase for hard coal

In schools and museums, display cases are usually used for several smaller objects. Showcases for insect collections are typical, less often for herbaria . Insect biologies show the entire life picture (caterpillar, pupa, butterfly) of one or more insects in a showcase. Collection boxes such as bellows boxes are mostly found in magazines and depots.

In public spaces, showcases are used, among other things, to post public notices, timetables and event information. The suspension in the box prevents damage from rain or theft, as well as unauthorized changes to notices etc. prevented.

Showcases for storing collection objects are also common in the private sector .


  • Barbara Karwatzki, Hartmut John (Red.): The exhibition space in the exhibition space. Modern showcase technology for museums (= publications of the Rheinisches Museumamt ; No. 59). Rheinland-Verlag, Pulheim / Habelt / Bonn 1994, ISBN 3-7927-1462-0
  • Inge Weidemann, Doris Schmidt: Practice book showcase design . Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 1999, ISBN 3-7751-3253-8 (Instructions for designing showcases as a means of public relations for church communities).
  • Ruth Beusing: Archeology in the showcase: Investigations on the presentation of prehistoric and early historical archeology in German museums , Leidorf, Rahden Westphalia 2010, ISBN 978-3-89646-568-9 (dissertation University of Marburg 2010, 415 pages).

Web links

Commons : Showcases  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Showcase  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Showcase  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations