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Czech Garnets – Jewellery of Ulrika Baroness von Levetzow

The evening will be hosted by an expert in gemmology – Dr. Radek Hanus, Ph.D., EurGeol., gemologist, mineralogist and expert witness in the field of precious metals and precious stones.

The presentation (and the book) “The Jewellery of Ulrika von Levetzow” (Hanus R. and Hladký P., 2019) was created as a result of the restoration and research of an extremely rare collection of jewellery, in which some of the largest Czech garnets are used.

A recording of the evening is on the club’s YouTube channel here.

In my presentation, I will discuss the history of the Levetzow family, which came from Germany when Mrs. Amalie von Brösigke married Franz Josef Count of Klebelsberg-Thumburg (one of the founders of today’s National Museum in Prague). Together they settled in the castle in Třebívlice in the Bohemian Central Highlands. Mrs. Amalie came to Bohemia with her three daughters, and J. W. Goethe (then aged 72) fell in love with the eldest, Ulrika (then 17). However, her stepfather did not want a relationship and Goethe never came to Bohemia again. At the same time, Franz J., Count of Klebelsberg, was very enterprising and organized the mining of Bohemian garnets on his estate. The very good production also prompted the establishment of a grinding plant in Třebívlice. The so-called Ulrika’s jewel, which is the main theme of the presentation, was actually a gift from Count František to Ulrika’s mother, and only then did Ulrika inherit it.

The Bohemian garnets on the jewel are so large that they very likely could not have been obtained by mining, but most likely came from older jewels. The presentation also describes the contemporary mining and gemstone cutting in the Kingdom of Bohemia, followed by a history of Ulrika von Levetzow’s jewellery set, including a description of the last theft. I will then go on to give a detailed description of the jewellery, including gemological characteristics of Czech garnets and analyses of the precious metal used. The restoration process of the jewel will then be described, which took place entirely in the museum, as the jewel was not allowed to leave it.

By the way, you can get an idea of the jewel’s story from an article on the Czech Radio website.

There will certainly be time for questions, for example, where can Czech garnets still be found in Bohemia today, or where do they occur (a variant of the Czech garnet) – is it really only in Bohemia? We will learn how the authenticity and type and price of stones are determined and what tools are used.

Bohemian garnet is a pyrope found only in the Bohemian Central Highlands. Bohemian garnet is specific for its deep red colour. Bohemian garnets are found in the form of grains, most often between 1 mm and 7 mm in size, larger grains are rarely found. And the gemology? Gemology is the science of gemstones. It is an applied mineralogy that studies the origin, location, properties and processing technologies of natural materials – precious and semi-precious stones. It focuses on their identification and differentiation from artificial stones.

Come and listen to interesting information, ask questions, discuss and share your experiences.

The evening is free for club members, for others the entrance fee is 200 CZK. for all but only after prior registration below. After all, we need to order the right amount of refreshments and choose the layout of the hall. The evening will be streamed – please register below to post the link.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Petr Marek, Petr Šedivý

Park Atrium u spol. 2N, Pod Vinicí 2028/20, Praha 12

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