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Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
Cup and saucer with “Vivat Böhmen” inscription
Klášterec nad Ohří (Klösterle am der Eger), 1794
Unmarked, Inv. no. 73.857
Purchased in 1970 from the Hans Meyer Collection

The Klösterle trial product, now in the Museum’s collection, is not exactly an artistic masterpiece; however, its value rests elsewhere. The object is the first or one of the first preserved pieces created in Bohemia’s second oldest porcelain manufactory. The cup’s intricate, almost detective-like story was described in 1973 by Dagmar Hejdová (1920–2009) in her essay published in ACTA UPM VIII. On the basis of comparisons with other early extant objects, Hejdová was able to document the form of the cup with an angular handle as modelled on Thuringian porcelain that had inspired the output of western Bohemia’s first porcelain manufactories.

This cup and saucer was exhibited at the Third General Austrian Industrial Exhibition of 1845 in Vienna. It was presented as a gift to the Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie (now the MAK, Museum of Applied Arts) shortly after the Museum was founded in 1864. In 1930, the piece was transferred to the collection of the Prague collector Hans Meyer2 in exchange for three old Viennese porcelain sculptures. In 1970, the item was acquired by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague.

In April, the Vivat Böhmen cup and saucer will be placed on display at the chateau of Klášterec nad Ohří. There it will enrich UPM’s permanent exhibition that charts the development of Oriental, European and Bohemian porcelain. Newly, the collection will be expanded to include objects formerly in the property of Holocaust victims.

Related Links
Klášterec nad Ohří — an exhibition of porcelain from the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague)
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A view of the porcelain manufactory in Klösterle am der Eger, c. 1898
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