Publication details

Dražby mobiliářů z konfiskovaných moravskoslezských zámků: výstavní a aukční síň Karel Ditrich Brno v letech 1948–1950

Title in English The Auctioning of Furnishings from Confiscated Castles in Moravia-Silesia: the Karel Ditrich Exhibition and Auction House in Brno in 1948–1950


Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Opuscula historiae artium
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Karel Ditrich;decrees of the President;cofiscated art objects;National Land Office;Antikva;Ferdinand Richter;Otakar Pohl;Rudolf Slansky;the export of coins for the currency
Description The movement and the state-organised sale of artistic assets confiscated from the private properties after 1945 on the authority of decrees of the President of Czechoslovakia is an area of research that is topical but as yet remains largely unexplored. This paper is based on research that was conducted on the extensive archive fonds of the Karel Ditrich Exhibition and Auction House that are kept in the Moravian Provincial Archives in Brno. The comprehensivness with which this collection has been preserved makes it an extremely valuable source for historical research and research on the provenance of items. It is uiquely able to offer a three-dimensional picture of the dramatic period between 1947 and 1950 when this business underwent two transformations in its proprietary status: from a private business to a business controlled by national administrators and then to a branch in the monopoly network that operated under Obchodní domy Antikva (Antikva Department Stores), a state enterprise. From archive materials it is possible to reconstruct the circumstances of the auctioning of seized artistic assets that accumuated there over the course of three years from almost all over Moravia and Silesia (four dozen localities). Inventories and accounts from individual castles and the residences and large estates of noble expelled from Czechoslovakia offer a comprehensive picture of the amount, nature and value of dislocated art pieces and objects that though the intervention og the state organs were designed to be placed in museum institutions. The paper also offers a portrait of the contradictory figure Karel Ditrich (1913–?), the original owner of the auction house, and also a coin collector, dealer, and expert, presented against the backdrop of his impressive domestic and international contacts and the political show trial of Rudolf Slanský under way at the time.