…at a flea market in Vienna.
Child’s Vest, Czech, Early 20th c. Leather, dyes, sheep fleece. 18 x 14 in.
There is a similiar piece on display in the he National Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
after many mistakes when learning the slavic customs with negotiating, i sorta figured it out…
the trick is to ask the price, then thank them and walk away.
in about 10 ft they will yell out at you how much.
another 5 feet, the price drops about 25%.
if you wave at them and keep walking, it drops another 25%…
so in the case of the extraodinary vest, what started out at 1500 crown (approx $150 usd)
came down to around $40 bucks.
150 for this thing was already a steal, though…
a century- old, hand embroidered traditional Czech vest,
for a child to be used for ceremonies and festivals.
This thing is constructed using three different types of got fur (gray, dark brown and creme)
its trimmed in leather, with rawhide loop and button.
I DUG UP SOME FASCINATING BACKSTORY ON THESE PIECES:
“This women’s Hanacky Kroj dating from 1940 is a well provenenced example of traditional dress from the Hana region of Moravia in Czechoslavakia. Intricately constructed and embroidered by specialist seamstresses and needleworkers, reflecting the time, expense and variety of skills that go into creating Hanacky Kroj. The style and design reflect the importance placed on communicating and celebrating regional identity through dress. In addition its elaborate composition and embellishment are meant to remind the viewer that it originates from one of the most prosperous areas of Moravia, HanÃ¡, which was renowned for producing the richest and most complicated designs.
The Hanacky Kroj book explains the social significance of the Hanacky Kroj and the very specific conventions for manufacture and wear. This is reinforced through the inclusion of patterns for components of the outfit and embroidery, step by step instructions on how to make it and information on the fabric, threads, starches and the costs involved as well as the names and addresses of specialist makers including shoe makers, embroiderers, lace makers and seamstresses who can assist with making components of the outfit. The social and cultural importance of kroj is explained in the introduction by Dr Jan Kuhndel ‘Kroj is an expensive, precious and sacred symbol of national and tribal tradition. It is a child of the Baroque era and its style, in which Czech soul found its festive days, cultural base and unqiue folk art. Every kroj is a mirror and a expression of its era, its region, and its people.”
a similiar vest from the 19th century in a Czech museum.
December 3, 2012 • Published by Tereasa Surratt