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Revue Pamiatky a múzeá – Summary 1/2005

Minerva from Gerulata
During the research carried out not far from the
area of the Roman castle of Gerulata, now part of Bratislava-Rusovce, north west
of the castle in Maďarská Street, stone foundations of buildings coming from
Roman period were discovered in 2000. When in one phase of the research work the
metal detector reacted intensively to the presence of colour metal
discovered, besides a lead smelted artefact, also a red semi precious
stone with engraved decoration – a „gemma“ of cornelian without a ring having
the size of 1.31 by 1.1 by 0,26 cm and shape of a high oval polished on both its
sides. On the „gemma“ there is a standing figure of Athene – Minerva in helmet,
with a lance and shield. We managed to find the closest analogue of the Gerulata
find in the Glyptoth‚que in Munich. Athene was very popular in Carnuntum, which
was in close proximity to Gerulata. The fact that as many as five „gemmas“ with
this motif have been found testifies to its popularity. It is a problem to
define an exact date when the „gemma“ was made. Material and pictorial themes on
„gemmas“ can be well and unambiguously interpreted, however, their evaluation
from chronologic aspect is complicated. „Gemmas“ belong to the so called lasting
property and could be for example donated or inherited. In spite of that we
would like to draw attention to the presence of the strikingly shaped buckle,
coming from the second century from the centre of the finds in Gerulata.
Similarly, its closest analgues come from the second century, too.
In spite
of the fact that archaeological research of Roman period in Slovakia unearthed
finds of rings with „gemmas“ (Iža, Devín,Rusovce) their number is not large.
They are either gemmas“ in rings or solo „gemmas“. The find of the „gemma“ with
the engraved figure of Athene-Minerva is the first in Slovakia. If we take ito
consideration that this „gemma“ comes fom the finds from te authentic Roman
province of Pannonia, from the region of border military fortress Gerulata, its
find thestifies to the fact that it was owned either by a military dignitary, or
any other citizen occupying a significant post, because in Roman times wearing
such a ring was the expression of the owner’s social standing and

Hunters´ Guns in
Collection fund of the Slovak
National Museum – Museum Bojnice contains also rare items of arts and crafts
including an extensive collection of arms and armours. The last castle owner
Count Johannes Francis P lffy was a passionate collector of antiquities but
after his death the whole big collection disappeared. A few swords, halberds and
individual parts of armour which are now in the museum collection have been
rescued and not sold. However, the collection fund contains also other weapons
coming from the localities of the Upper Nitra region. Hunters‘ guns with wheel
and firelock locks rank among the most interesting and rarest. However, today we
are not able to define whom those weapons were destined for, because we know no
data about their owners and sometimes we do not even know who made the guns. An
unknown master made also the oldest gun with wheel lock, inlaid by richly carved
and engraved white bone slats. The luxurious decoration of this hunters‘ rifle
consisted of several large medallions hemmed by „rollwerks“. In the medallions
there are carved female and male faces, a whole woman’s figure, lions‘ heads and
other decorations. The rifle’s barrel is marked by the initials H.G. and was
made at the end of the 16th century in the territory of Germany. Other two
hunters‘ guns were made by master Heinrich Reimer, the founder of the Olomouc
gunmaker’s family. He lived and worked in Olomouc around the year 1691. In the
Bojnice collection, two light Teschen and lady’s hunter’s guns represent a
contrast to the heavy guns destined for static hunting. The Teschen one was made
about the mid 17th century. As many guns from that production it has no master’s
marking. The lady’s gun comes from the mid 17th century and might have been made
in Italy, but as it has no marking, we cannot identify the locality more
exactly. Other two guns marked by the signatures of the Viennnese masters come
from the end of the 17th century. The hunters’s gun is marked by master Jacob
Koch, who was one of the most significant gunmakers in Vienna, where he lived
and worked in the years 1685 – 1702. The second Viennnese weapon is the hunter’s
gun marked by Johannes Entzinger, coming from Salzburg, who worked as master in
Vienna after the year 1669. Another hunter’s gun coming from the beginning of
the 18th century and marked by the Viennese master Joseph Hamerl, one of the
most famous gunmakers, is a rifle with French firelocks, which are marked by the
Viennese masters Johann Peter Planer and F. Paver, probably the son of master
Lorenzo Paver. Both masters were famous in Vienna in the 18th century. Another
gun with French firelock comes from London, according to the marking, where it
was made at the end of the 18th century. The hunter’s gun with French firelock
comes from the beginning of the l9th century.

Armour from the Orava
Very few protective armours have been
preserved in the territory of present day Slovakia. Not a single original
armoury has been preserved in this country and the collection fund is very poor,
limited to a few sets of original armours. More armours which were completed or
adapted (particularly in the second half of the 19th century) and individual
armour parts have been preserved. The armours in the funds of the Orava Museum
at the Orava Castle rank to
the type of heavy semi-armours, which means that
they were not completed by a sheet protecting the lower limbs on the one hand
and on the other they had a full shield protecting the upper limbs. We cannot
prove that it was part of the castle armoury, most probably it got to the castle
from an unidentified source in the second half of the nineteenth century. It has
a smooth surface with minimal amount of decorative elements. The internal
surface is blackened, and this protection against corrosion is original. The
armour is neither adapted not repaired. Also the leather armour straps are
genuine. The individual parts of the armour have a simple marking, employed in
completization in production. The armour weighs approximately 15 – 16 kg. It can
be characterized as an item of mass production destined for the widest ranks of
simple warriors. This is represented in the marking of the armour by the so
called supervision emblem of the City of Vienna, situated in the collar, on the
right and on the lower hem of the left wing used in the 15th and the 16th
centuries, which was to be the guarantee of the product’s good quality. There is
no individual master’s sign on the armour. The item comes probably from the
years 1550 – 1560.

Portraits of Maria Magdalen
The Pálffy portrait gallery at the castle
Červený Kameň (Red Stone) was founded by the married couple of Nicolaus II
Pálffy (1552 – 1600) and Maria Magdalen Fugger-Pálffy (1566 – 1646). In the
Slovak National Museum – the Museum Červený Kameň there are two monumental
portraits of Maria Magdalen Fugger-Pálffy. The former is an ostentatious,
ceremonial portrait of the noble woman, complying with the trend of the
international court style in women’s portraits, stylistically connected with the
works of the Rudolphinian mannerists. The latter is a copy, of not very good
quality, coming probably from the 19th century, presenting Maria Magdalen as a
widow. The accounting recording of May 1613 from the estate of Stupava mentioned
that the portrait was commissioned by George Fugger from Adam, the Imperial
court painter. The name of the portrait painter Mr.Adam does not refer to any
famous imperial painter of that period, that is why we can consider that the
artist’s name was muddled up in the book of accounts from George Fugger’s
signature on the original sales slip. George Fugger’s portrait was actually made
by Hans von Aachen still when he served Hans Fugger in the years 1591 – 1592 and
the ten portraits made by von Aachen in those days, were used as models for
Custos when he made his first series of Fuggerorum et Fuggerarum Imagines.
Moreover, von Aachen had met the Pálffys in connection with his paintings, when
commissioned by the Emperor he had been making the portraits of the Rába heroes
Nicolaus Pálffy and Adolf Schwarzenberg about the year 1599 as a state commision
for the liberated Győr. The third reason testifying to the fact that the Stupava
portraits were commisioned from von Aachen is that the painter lived in nearby
Vienna at the end of the year 1612 and in 1613. The portrait of Archduchess
Maria Magdalen, later the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, made about the year 1615 in
Červený Kameň ascribed to von Aachen looks most genuine.

Discovery of Klemens´
Recently the Prague historian Lubomír
Sršeň interpreted ten newly discovered portraits of Czech patriots, men and
women from the circle of the all-round learned physician Karel Slavoj Amerling.
These are the portraits of the families of three Reis sisters, Mr.Tyl with his
fianc‚ and Marie Pospˇçilov , which were made before the mid 19th century. They
are very important for Slovak art because they were all ascribed to Amerling’s
friend Jozef Božetech Klemens from Liptovský Mikuláš, who spent altogether ten
years in Prague and definitely left for Slovakia in 1856. In spite of several
hypotheses and indices Srçeĺ enriched the so far known Klemens‘ works. He
considers his early paintings to be more interesting than those made in
Slovakia. He compares him with older and more successful painter Antonín Machek,
who painted modest Empire and elegant Biedermeier portraits, which, however, did
not reveal much about the souls and characters of the portraied persons.
Accoding to Sršeň, Klemens deliberately revolted against such indifferent manner
and under the influence of the environment he moved in, he prefered the
expression of the ideas of committed patriotic romanticism. Sršeň says with full
responsibility, that Klemens by his works, was the most radical of all Czech
painters in the 40s of the 19th century to try to reform the portrait

Walled in Crabs – Traces of a
Within the framework of building-historical research we often come
across remains of animals in walls or plaster. Mostly the skeletons of rodents,
frogs or bats are found as these animals tried to find shelter in the chinks and
spend winters there. However, the find of walled in crabs belongs to another
category. They were put into the walls with a certain aim. In 1996 we managed to
record such interesting finds in historical buildings in Bratislava. Them first
find comes from Jesenák’s Palace at 3 Michalská Street. Three small crabs were
found in a vertical crevice in the wall during the reconstruction of a room on
the first floor in the western yard wing. They were placed regularly in the
hollows carefully closed by pieces of cut bricks. The circumstances enable us to
say that the find comes from the 18th century. During the reconstruction of the
Governor’s Palace at 8 Hlavné Square four crabs were found, put into the corners
of the room in the northern yard wing, also in the 18th century. The crabs were
put into the hollows at the altitude of 2 m from the floor. The hollows were
made by removal of bricks. They put a crab into each hole and covered them by a
layer of plaster. Many ideas and views were connected with crabs, particularly
owing to their appearance and way of movement. They were considered to be the
harbingers of bad luck but served also as means of protection. Crabs were used
also in traditional practices, whose aim was to call or orecast rain. Crabs were
profusely used in traditional medicine, which was first of all based on the idea
that they were poisonous or that they had theŤ ability to function as an
antidote. In Slovakia dried, pulverized crabs were used to cure rabies. Either
the wound was powdered by the pulverized crab or it was drank in wine. On the
basis of the conviction of crab’s negative qualities the idea ensued that its
presence sent away the animals harmful to man. A recording from Vienna of 1875
is concretely connected with the protection of dwelling areas. According to that
recording a living crab was walled in as protection against bed bugs. Most
probably this was the reason why crabs were walled in also in Bratislava. Thanks
to archive research we found out that at that time the Governor’s Place was
owned by Georg Palušk who had several significant uilding adaptations made. From
1762 Francis Sigray became the palace’s owner. Both of them could have ordered
the crabs. The position of the rooms indicates that they were intended to be
bedrooms, and that is why, not to be disturbed at night in their sleep, the
owners had crabs walled in. The finds testify to the fact that this was a common
practice in Bratislava in the 18th century. Perhaps all this could have had a
rational reason too. Smelling crabs might have been efficient in the fight
against bed bugs.

Csáky Castle at Prievoz – end of one Type of
The territory of
Prievoz, today part of the City of Bratislava, is situated on the medieval
Danubian road, in the place which had been already mentioned in the written
documents at the end of the 13th century as the ford across the Danube. The
autonomous settlement of Prievoz was formed probably in the 14th century. After
the abolition of serfdom the settlement began to develop and in 1884 Prievoz had
the population counting 759 people, mostly of German nationality. In that period
(1882) Count Edmund Csáky bought a large estate in the cadastre of the
settlement. What is interestig is the fact that there was a gamekeeper’s house
in its territory. He used it not only during the hunts, but also as his summer
residence, which he began gradually to rebuild into an extensive building.
Cadastral maps of 1894 and 1902 testify to it. Between the years 1900 – 1902 had
Edmund Csáky together with his wife Rudolphine, born Stadion, built in the place
of the gamekeeper’s house – the Count’s summer residence a new castle which
partly used the foundations of the original building. He commissioned the
Bratislava firm Kittler and Gratz with the construction. The castle in „neo“
style extremely arranged as to its groundplan and size dominated in the large
park in English style and the garden for plants and vegetables, joined to it.
The castle was completed by out buildings and stables. In spite of the
complicated building’s groundplan and arrangement of facades, they managed to
build in Prievoz a strikingly asymmetric but at the same time remarkably
balanced building, whose varied elements do not disturb its complex shape.
Mixture of Renaissance with baroque and in case of the roofs also with elements
inspired by Gothic does not look tasteless in the arranged facades and does not
spoil the general impression. Just the opposite, it naturally enriches the
facades and in such a way proves the aesthetic skills of the designer. The
eclectic Csáky Castle in Bratislava-Prievoz represents one of the most
interesting and best preserved buildings from the time when the 19th century
styles overlapped with Art Nouveau. It did not belong to progressive buildings
even in the days when it was built, at the beginning of the 20th century. It
remained an undisturbed document of conservative-romantic feeling and the ideas
of the period concerning the ostentatious residences of the richest aristocratic
families in Hungary when they were slowly beginning to be doomed to extinction.
The castle is the last element in the many centuries old chain of aristocratic
residences built in Slovakia from the period when gradual change of life style
definitely substituted fortress like buildings by comfortable

Map of Stephen Esterházy´s Property in
In the collection of the Central Slovakian
Museum in Banská Bystrica there is the map of Zvolen’s environs, which was a
region east of the confluence of the Hron and the Slatina. We can tell when the
maps were made, on the basis of the relations of the Esterházys to the town of
Zvolen. In the first decades of the 17th century the family gained a significant
position in the Zvolen comitat and its Zvolen branch maintained it also later.
In 1618 Nicolaus Esterházy became Zvolen comitat administrator. In 1826 he
gained as collateral and later purchased the Castle of Zvolen he owned together
with his brothers (the family members sold the residence at the beginning of the
19th century). Their property in Zvolen represented the direct hinterland of the
Castle of Zvolen. The presentation of their Zvolen property in form of the
comitat map exactly records the borders of their estate. The origination of the
map was forced by the frequent territorial feuds between the castle owners and
the neighbouring town. The map was drawn probably around the year 1753, after
the problems had been settled and took into consideration the conditions of the
period. Apart from urbanized area the map records above all the comitat borders
of Zvolen and the surrounding properties. The map coming from the mid 18th
century and made for Count Esterházy by a Czech prospector, yields a lot of
information about that period of history. It may help in the research of the
history of Zvolen and the whole region and together with other old maps extend
our knowledge about the environment connected with historic events.

Renaissance Emblem at
Marianka is a famous place of pilgrimages
not far from Bratislava. In 1367 King Lewis Anjou donated the vilage to the
order of the Paulines and the order’s general resided there in the 16th and the
17th centuries. However, the list of sights in Slovakia did not record the
supporting column with the statue of blessing Christ, standing at the crossroads
of Karpatská and Kamenná Streets. At the emblem there are cut the initials of
the emblem’s aristocratic owner ISFS and the year 1658. The emblem owner’s name
can be interpreted as Ioannes (?) Sigray de Felso Suran and the year identifies
when the work originated. The Sigrays (Sigrai, Sikray, Zsigray, Žigray) were a
relatively old Hungarian aristocratic family, coming from the Spiš village of
Žehra. The Sigrays owned estates also in Bratislava, directly in the settlement
below the castle and in Devín and left behind sights existing up till today.
Their emblem has not been preserved on the façades of the buildings which
belonged to them in Bratislava. A remarkable heraldic sight can be found only in
the former House of the White Monks at 17 Panská Street in Bratislava. The
house’s name testifies to the fact that the building was owned by the monks –
the Paulines from Marianka. The monks from Marianka gained half of the building
as early as 1470, later they purchased the whole house. In the building’s
courtyard is the portal of the former chapel of the mentioned order. This chapel
was built or renewed on the initiative of Johannes Sigray in 1671. We can learn
it from the still existing Latin inscription and the Sigray family emblem above
the portal. In the relatively rustical emblem in Marianka (1658) the shield
figures are turned to themselves, but the lion has only one tail carved. The
emblem in Panská Street in Bratislava (1671) is more impressive. Its sculptural
decoration is more attractive, the lion has already two tails. Is it an error,
or a purposeful work of the stonemason, which differentiates two physical
personalities or are these the changes in the emblem’s development? The initials
in Marianka and the inscription in Bratislava indirectly force us to believe
that there was one donor – Johannes Sigray (died in 1657). However, all this is
not unambiguous, because according to the data in Siebmacher Johannes Sigray
died in 1657. Could the emblem in Marianka be made a year after Johannes‘ death?
With regard to the type of sights of the donors‘ emblems perhaps we should look
for the real donor among the church dignitaries. There was Johannes (1654 –
1718) son of Johannes, administrator of Paul Pálffy’s property. He died in 1718
and was buried in Spiš Chapter. But this man was only 4 years old when the
supportiing column was constructed at Marianka and in 1671 he was only 17. On
the basis of our information about the Sigrays living in the 17th century we can
say that the concrete donor of the Marianka column cannot be unambiguously
identified and can be the subject of further research.

The Lourdes Cave in
Countess widow Gabriella Szap ry signed
the founding document of the Lourdes Cave in Bratislava in the area of a not
used quarry near Hlbok cesta of today on July 16th 1889. The cave was opened to
public after the adaptation of the quarry. The solemn consecration of St.Mary’s
statue took place on September 18th 1892. From that year is also the first
tablet with thanks in the cave, which reminds us of Archduchess Izabella’s
presence at the inauguration. Apart from the analysis of some tablets from 4500
votive ones which were added to those already existing also after World War II,
the article presents dramatic testimonies of some people who had the tablets
made and put there.