Art Forged in Iron / Blacksmith’s and Locksmith’s Art in the Collections of the City of Prague Museum

Art Forged in Iron / Blacksmith’s and Locksmith’s Art in the Collections of the City of Prague Museum

Place:
Ctěnice Chateau

Date:
14. 5. 2017 – 29. 10. 2017

The exhibition in Ctěnice Chateau is comprised of two parts. The first one is dedicated to locksmithery. Visitor will learn about the history of lock mechanisms, types of locks and ironwork, their differences and tricks how to differentiate them.

The second part of the exhibition presents more numerous blacksmithery works, the earliest originating in the Baroque Era. The oldest lattice on display has survived in several smaller parts. It was commissioned by the Spanish emissary to the court of Rudolf II, Guillén de San Clemente, for the tombstone of St Ivan in Svatý Jan pod Skalou in 1600. One of the most remarkable lattice collections in Prague is a window lattice from St George’s Basilica of the Benedictine Nuns which was produced between 1731 and 1732 at the incentive of Abbess Terezie Aloisie Widmannová. The fragment of a lattice chapel, which enshrined the body of St Norbert between 1628 and 1811 in the Strahov Monastery church, is the largest and most valuable exhibit. Objects associated with the last things of a human – forged baroque tombstone lattices – represent smaller blacksmith works. The basket from the Horse Market (today Wenceslas Square) public lighting is a curiosity; it was previously recorded in the museum inventory books as a basket to display decapitated heads.

The collection of locks and ironwork of the City of Prague Museum originated shortly after the museum’s foundation and today comprises some 1,350 pieces. Many of these iron gems were rescued in the last minute. The museum acquired them thanks to architects, engineers and Prague building councillors who were aware of their value, evidencing the bygone everyday life of Prague boroughs. The collection was further expanded by purchased private collections.

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