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History of the Moser shop in Prague, Na Prikope 12

History of the object, where the shop is located

The largest and most luxurious Moser shop in the Czech Republic is situated in the Black Rose Palace (Černá růže), which ranks among the best known icons of the Czech architecture between the World Wars. The complex of the Black Rose premises was named after an ancient house with a frontispiece facing the present street Na Příkopě, which had a rich past and the coat-of-arms of a black rose. The first record about this house in the municipal books dates back already 1377. One of its most significant proprietors was Martin Rotlev, the owner of Holešovice, Libeň, Koloděje and royal mint master in Hory Kutné wealthy like in a fairy tale. At the end of the 14th century the house was in possession of the Bohemian section of the Charles University. At that time it was used as an educational centre and a gathering point. In 1408 a scholarly disputation about orthodoxy of Wicklef’s books took place there attended by several hundreds of university masters, bachelors and students, including John Huss. The name At the Black Rose appears for the first time in 1432, probably after a new owner Janek from Černá růže (Black rose). When the building was devolved to the municipality in 1583, a coaching inn and a municipal salt centre (SOLNICE) was opened there. The municipality was renting all the premises successfully. The trade was prospering till the French occupation of Prague in 1743 and Prussian bombardment in 1757. In both cases the house was severely damaged. In 1767 the municipality sold the house to builder Jan Josef Wirch, who reconstructed it and added a second storey. A radical reconstruction was carried out by František Frenzel, the owner of a machine factory who bought the house in 1846. One year later his brother architect Jan Jindřich Frenzel designed for him and built the main three-storey building with a romantic façade facing today’s Příkopy and long courtyard wings. On the balcony there was a cast iron late empire relief, the house emblem of a black rose, installed at that time. The first floor with a big hall was then used by the Měšťanská beseda (Burgess meeting), which pursued numerous activities till its own building was constructed. From 1880 the chairman of the Chamber of commerce and trade and iron wholesale merchant Egon Bondy owned the house. In 1884-88 he had the house interiors in the Classicism style with a spacious flat of his own reconstructed according to the designs of architect Josef Fanta in the Neo-Renaissance style. At the beginning of the 1930s the back part of the house was partly torn down and the house Panská 4 designed by architect Oldřich Tyl was built on the

L-shape lot later. It was jointed to the historical house Na Příkopě by a through arcade in the functionalism style. As a result, there was a department store complex with flats. The arcade interiors with a unique glass concrete vault and galleries are interesting. The building is listed among the National immovable landmarks as a significant proof of modern architecture between WWI and WWII. The posh arcade was famed thanks to two great shops – Moser glass and Lipert’s delicatessen store. After the war the assortment started to change. In the 1960s considerable adjustments were carried out. In the centre of the arcade there was a stairway, a chandelier and a fountain in the Brussels style installed. There were shops and premises of various styles. The elegant arcade was turned into the House of Services (Dům služeb). In the 1990s the whole building, including the arcade, was in emergency conditions. Then, the company SOLID won the city tender for the house rental. It reconstructed the complex as well as the arcade and retrieved the state of this noted landmark. At present there are about 4200 square meters of business and almost 2000 square meters of office premises. Flats were also reconstructed and two-storey garages accessible from Panská street by a car lift were built in the basement.

HISTORY AND THE INTERIOR OF THE SHOP

From 1880 the chairman of the Chamber of commerce and trade and iron wholesale merchant Egon Bondy owned the house. In 1884-88 he had the house interiors in the Classicism style with a spacious flat of his own reconstructed according to the designs of architect Josef Fanta in the Neo-Renaissance style. The palace and the spaces of today’s Moser shop served the Bondys as their private residence. In 1925 the first Moser representative shop in Prague was opened in the lower part of the “Black Rose“ palace. After the Bondys moved away in 1934, the shop was extended to the first floor of this palace. Since then, the Moser shop has been located in the same premises continuously till the present days. The rooms are protected as historical monuments. Among interesting architectural elements there are the original wooden ceiling and wall facing, painted windows, Dutch stove and chandeliers and others. In 1996 the shop spaces were enlarged and a new (back) modern part designed by architects Perlík and Knytl was added. In 2001 the shop was completely reconstructed. Its modern interiors were complemented by unique showcases designed by architect Pavel Rada.

Other shop features

  • Coloured window-panes protected by another glass window pane almost miraculously survived both WWI and WWII and reconstructions of the Black Rose Palace and have been preserved unchanged to the present.

  • Wood used for beautifully carved and wood inlayed surfaces belongs to the most expensive sorts (ebony, ash, white oak).

  • Beauty of natural material, such as wood, is everlasting. Inlays, in other words surface decoration by inlaying with wooden veneers of various colours, can be admired on antique furniture, ceilings and pillars in the interiors of the Příkopy shop.

  • Three chandeliers in the historical interiors, further two tables and armchairs which are located in the room with coloured window-panes are original, preserved from 1888. The historical tables and armchairs were designed by famous furniture designer Mr. Gerstl. Tables in other historical rooms are replicas only.

  • In 1888 the Bondys’ residence was still furbished with magnificent cloth wallpapers. They were, however, damaged during frequent reconstructions of the whole house and they had to be replaced with paper wallpapers.

  • Every rosette (rose) of the original ceilings preserved to the present, which is richly carved, is embellished with the initials “BB”, Bohumil Bondy’s initials.

  • There where the shop displays the most luxurious drinking set Splendid, you can find a historical wooden telephone. Unfortunately, the receiver has been stolen. However, at least the basic part of the telephone has been preserved. Mr. František Chocholatý, the founder of the Giant Snifters Club from 1956, is still set up on the phone.

  • With regard to the fact that the historical shop interiors are listed, any even the smallest interior alteration is subject to the approval of the National landmark institute in Prague.

  • In the 1920s there was a servant standing in front of the main lower door whose task was to let in the ordered guests only. Significant families used to order their visit at Moser for a certain hour during which the shop staff attended exclusively to them. There were hours for ordinary customers specified, too.

Contact

Na Příkopě 12, 110 00  Pra 1, tel.: +420 224 211 293, e-mail:  pha-prikopy@moser-glass.com