A Story Written by Gunpowder

A Story Written by Gunpowder

Main Building

7. 4. 2015 – 18. 6. 2015

Object of the Season

The City of Prague Museum collection contains more than a thousand of items which have been purchased, donated, or even found. The earliest recording books reveal impressive and original descriptions of items.

Although there are only few firearms from the Middle Ages and early modern period in the museum repositories, they are all very interesting. A matchlock musket with a German type stock from the early 17th century is the collection highlight. Visitors can admire two more unique artefacts – a glass vessel containing black gunpowder presumably from the late 16th century and a late 18th century breastplate with a dent caused by a bullet. Thus a short, but quite unique story unfolds reviving an age-long conflict between a gun attack on one side and self defence armour on the other.

When the first firearms emerged in the 14th century, efficient protection against bullets was needed. While the shooter had to be equipped with a gun, a gunpowder case, and a projectile, the defender ‘only’ managed with armour of various types. Shooters won most of the combats but not all, as evidenced by the cuirass on display. Although the exhibited artefacts date from different times, they can be displayed together because the principles and material did not change much over time. This unique collection helps visitors imagine what combats looked like.

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