Sunday, December 4, 2011

"A bird is three things:

Feathers, flight and song,
And feathers are the least of these."

~Marjorie Allen Seiffert

The flower frogs...birds...this week are from Czechoslovakia...and again...history is so crucial in understanding the origins of these treasures.When porcelain was first produced in Bohemia, Bohemia was a part of the Habsburg Monarchy in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. There were several mines in the area of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic (Karlsbad, Bohemia, Austria). Another area with several factories is Trnovany, Czech Republic (Teplitz, Bohemia, Austria). These areas became the center of porcelain production, especially Karlovy Vary. Bohemian porcelain made before 1918 may be marked with the country of origin as Austria. Most of the factories were founded when the area was still under Austrian rule. Thus, the town and village names are the German/Austrian names. Once Czechoslovakia became a country, the towns and villages did not always mark with their old Czech names.

At the end of World War I (November 1918), the Paris Peace committee created a new country with the Bohemia, Moravia & Austrian Silesia sections of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and a northern strip of Hungary. The committee named the new country Czecho-Slovak Republic, with a hyphen. In 1920, Ruthenia was made a part of Czechoslovakia. Most of the people in the new country were the Czechs (Bohemians) and Slovaks, thus the name Czecho-Slovakia. However, there were great differences between their cultural and religious traditions. (Does it ever strike anyone as odd that civilization cannot move beyond culture and religion? Guess there is no "APP" for that either!)

Anyway, the country's pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair had the spelling Czechoslovakia and Czecho-Slovakia.

At times, you will see the German spelling with a "w" instead of a "v," Czecho-Slowakia, or an "e" at the end instead of an "a," Czecho-Slovakie. Another spelling is Tehechoslovacia. During Hitler's control of Czechoslovakia, the country was part of Germany; therefore, some Bohemian porcelain states Germany as the country of origin. This is marked Bavaria, but it has that lustre that the Czecho-slovkian porclain is so well known for.In September 1938, the Bohemia borderlands (the former Sudetenland) were ceded to Germany. March 1939, the Nazis occupied all of Czechoslovakia. In 1945, after World War II, the country of Czechoslovakia was restored to its original borders, except the Ruthenia section was ceded to the USSR. After this time the hyphen was not used in the English spelling of the country. During the communist rule, it became Ceskoslovenska Socialisticka Republika (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic). Czechoslovakia ceased being a country January 1, 1993, when it was divided into the Ceská Republika(Czech Republic) and Slovák Republika(Slovak Republic). The Czechs and Slovaks always wanted to be independent entities.

"There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before." - Robert Lynd

1 comment:

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