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Revue Pamiatky a múzeá - Summary 1/2005

zverejnené: 3. mája 2011
aktualizované: 13. apríla 2012

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 we
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 property.

Hunters´ Guns in Bojnice
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 Museum
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 Pállfy
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´ Pictures
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 style.

Walled in Crabs – Traces of a Superstition
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 Architecture
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 castles.

Map of Stephen Esterházy´s Property in Zvolen
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
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 Bratislava
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.

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