The City of Prague Museum

Dining room

Dining room

The dining room. From the large, light and airy living room a short stair leads directly to the dining room, which is surprising in its lack of light and small dimensions. This impression is heightened by the dark mahogany furniture and the coffered ceiling divided into squares. The most interesting piece of furniture here is the round table on a central, octagonal foot. The syenite tabletop is of a size appropriate for six persons - it has a diameter of 110 cm. The tabletop can be enlarged by the addition of one or two extra mahogany rings to a diameter of 170 or 230 cm, creating enough room for 12 or 18 diners. In its construction, the table is a masterpiece.

Of the eighteen original chairs only fourteen have survived. Loos employed Chippendale chairs designed in England in the 18th century, and the construction of which he regarded as unsurpassed. A single chair was brought from England, and the others are copies made in Prague by the firm of Gerstel, who also created the other furnishings in the dining room.

An important functional and aesthetic element of the dining room is its lighting. The central brass light fitting above the table carries four bulbs, covered on the lower, visible side by a round pane of matt glass hanging from four brass chains. The lighting of the dining room is rounded off by concealed lights, set into the walls.

The dining room is extended by a wide bay window to the sides of which are two mirrored display cases. The ground glass shelves are set on perforated metal mounts, and originally flowers would have been placed on them. Mirrors that optically enlarged the bay space covered the backs of the cases.
Three serving tables of different sizes, made perhaps to designs by Loos, were apparently originally part of the dining room. Two of these are now installed in the living room, while the third has been lost.

The dining room has two open sides – the one adjacent to the staircase leading to the upper floor could be closed with hangings, while the second linked the dining room space to the living area. Along the only solid wall stood two mahogany cupboards, the single lead doors of which had brass handles finishing in ivory balls. The cupboard on the left hid the access to the pantry, while that on the right contained crockery, some of which was monogrammed MK and came from the possessions of Milada Müllerová, née Krátká. Between the cupboards is a folding table with a syenite top.
Behind the cupboards and above the folding table is the only solid wall in the dining room, and here Loos installed a group of pictures by Jan Preisler. On all of the period photographs it is possible easily to identify the two pictures hung in the upper row: to the left Studie k obrazu z většího cyklu ("Study for a picture in a larger cycle", oil on canvas, 1902) and Dívka s kobylou a hříbětem ("Girl with mare and foal", oil on canvas, 1906). Because the lower row was not captured in the original photographs, the reconstruction uses a possible combination: Preisler’s Pokušení ("Temptation", oil on canvas, 1916 17), Žena a jezdci ("Woman and riders", oil on canvas, 1912) and Studie k Milencům ("Study for a lover", oil on canvas, 1905) were selected from Dr. Müller’s collection. A copy recently replaced the final picture mentioned.


The pantry and its reconstruction. — The access from the dining room masked by the cupboard door leads to the surprisingly small space of the pantry, from which the kitchen can be reached. The whole height of the pantry wall is set with white lacquered fitted furniture; the complete absence of horizontal surfaces is made up for by folding leaves. Into the fitted furniture, made by the firm of S.B.S. Brno, a Frigidaire refrigerator was placed that survives down to today. The pantry fixtures, including the xylolite floors, have survived to a great extent without damage, and thus were only lightly treated by restorers.

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