grand entrance hall with an exhibition on the Museum’s history, its founders and significant collections

Karlštejn Treasure
The so-called Karlštejn Treasure, donated to the Museum by the Jindřich Waldes family, comprises 387 silver objects discovered during restoration work at Karlštejn castle. Found by two builders, the treasure was later sold to a Prague money-maker who then offered it up for auction in Berlin. From there it was bought sometime before 1911 by a former Director of the Museum Borovský. Borovský sold the silver to collector and industrialist Jindřich Waldes for his museum of costume fasteners in Vršovice.
The treasure consists of various costume ornaments, clasps and buttons which most probably originally belonged to the Luxemburg court. Among the most remarkable items are two chased beakers and two bowls. One of the bowls is decorated with a gilt portrait medallion of a lady and an engraved royal crown, the other is decorated on the outer wall with water birds, and coloured, unusually for silver, with honey colour wax. Many small objects, such as a cast and gilt belt buckle and a small scent case which would be originally hung from a belt, were among the objects found. A golden buckle with pearls was donated by Jiří Waldes in the year 2000 to the MDA in Prague on the occasion of his father’s receiving a state honour.

Ceramic Collection of Hugo Vavrečka
Hugo Vavrečka (1880—1952), the grandfather of President Václav Havel, was a prominent personality in various areas of cultural and political life in the first half of the 20th century. There are around three hundred items in this unique collection of immense cultural and historical value. The core is formed by Habaner faience from 1590—1730 and faience manufactured in Holitch (1743—1827), the oldest ceramic manufacturer of the Hapsburg monarchy. It also includes faience produced in other European centres, rare examples of Czech, Moravian and Slovak folk pottery and a group of mainly Czech porcelain from the 19th century. The collection is on a long-term loan to the Museum courtesy of the Václav and Ivan Havel family.

Tribute to the museum founders

Vojtěch Baron Lanna
29.5. 1836, Prague—31.12. 1909, Merano
Industrialist, entrepreneur and collector, Lanna built railways in Bohemia and canalised rivers,
in particular Moldau. He was also patron of the artist Josef Mánes. Treasures from the Lanna’s collection found their way into many major museums around the world, being bought between 1909 and 1911, when the core of the collection went for sale. As a generous benefactor, Lanna donated a number of objects each year to the Museum in Prague, the gift of his glass collection in 1906 being of particular importance.

Bohumil Bondy
1832, Prague—15. 3. 1907 Prague
Bondy was an industrialist and iron magnate who contributed significantly to the victory of the Czechs in the elections for the Prague Chamber of Trade and Commerce and became its first Czech President (1884—1888). He was instrumental in the organisation of the Jubilee exhibition in 1891.In the 1880s Bondy was a regional representative for the Staročeská party. Founder of the Museum, and its Trustee from 1885 to 1907, he was chairman of the Board of Trustees between 1885 and 1888. Apart from many gifts, he bequeathed considerable financial resources to the museum for acquisitions.

Gustav Pazaurek
21.5. 1865, Prague—27.1. 1935, Altmannshofen
Native of Prague, 1892—1905 custodian and later director of North Bohemian Museum of Industrial Art in Liberec. Between 1905 and 1932 director of Museum in Stuttgart, where he also established a Department of Good and Bad Taste in Decorative Arts. Author of many publications about decorative arts, glass and ceramics in particular. He contributed significantly to the Museum’s collections of glass, first of all 19th century Bohemian glass, by donating around 2000 pieces in 1932.