An unknown stove maker. A circular tile stove
Glazed pottery, central part diametre 70 cm, mantelpiece 90 cm, height 190 cm
Restored by Martin Rosenberger in the years 2015 – 2017, restoration documentation is in the museum archive under No. 2015/02-R
A circular tile stove
This circular tile stove stood in the building of the Spiš Museum in Mäsiarska Street in Levoča. It had been built in 1937 and served as an exhibit in the first museological exhibition. In 2014, prior to the reconstruction of the object, it was necessary to dismantle and restore it. During the restoration research several interesting facts had been discovered. The stove is incomplete, some tiles are missing. Only the stove shell had originally been constructed, without smoke flues and the fixation to the chimney. Stoves of this type usually have a cascaded finish and there is an antique vase on the top. It was generally used in the 19th century and one could find them also in the households of the upper middle class. It is a type of a circular tile stove which was operated by the servants from the corridor (wood was added through a small opening in the chimney from the corridor). Inside, there was a metal grating to protect the tiles from breaking during the addition of the wood on the fire. However, it had no inner blasts as they are known from later tile stoves. The stove was constructed as one inner space with the rear wall directly connected to the chimney, which the exhausts would flow through. This tile stove from the museum collections has been restored with the aim to do away with the imperfecions as well as find a way of quality presentation, so that it could give an impression of a clean design and style, however, without the reconstruction of the stove upper edge. First, the individual tiles were cleansed of potter’s clay and dirt. After the tiles had been glued, the missing parts were added by plaster infillings. The missing ornaments were made of alabaster plaster by means of silicon forms and tiled with sand paper into the required shape.
The missing tiles were made as copies of the same shape and material. They were made from a lighter clay so that they are easily recognisable. The production of the copies required a more complicated calculation of the percentage of clay shrinking, production of plaster forms and tile models as well as glazing colour tests. The stove is constructed by means of a metal construction that would allow its safe transfer in case of a possible exhibition presentation of the stove outside the depository.
An unknown stove maker. A tile fireplace
End of the 18th century
Glazed pottery, height 160 cm, width 89 cm, depth 61cm
Restored by Martin Rosenberger in the years 2013 – 2015, restoration documentation is in the museum archive under No. 2015/01-R
A tile fireplace
This tile fireplace stood in the building of the Spiš Museum in Mäsiarska Street in Levoča where it had probably been put together from tiles of several previous stoves that had a similar character of artistic decoration and came, most likely, from one workshop, having been made for one commissioner.
Prior to the restoration, this fireplace stood in the old museum exposition. It was constructed by the classical stovemaking technique using potter’s clay and wire, however, without flues, in other words, it was not functional. It had been dismantled due to the reconstruction of the museum building. During the restoration research it was discovered that several tiles had been incorrectly put together and tile shards from different places had been applied (e.g. the mantelpiece from the bottom socle section was applied on the tile under the tympanum).
Following the drawing and photo documentation the tile fireplace had been professionally dismantled. We proceeded from the upper inner side downards. Some tiles, mainly from the upper part of the stove, were contaminated with soot. It was detected mainly between the glazing and the shard. It happened during the heating in the fireplace when the soot would penetrate through tile shards and settle under the glazing. The contamination could not be cleansed from the surface. What had turned out as most effective were packs of cotton wool soaked with water mixed with a cleansing agent. Nevertheless, it was not possible to clean it completely. The final presentation was proposed indentically with the previous museum installation. Thus the restoration of individual tiles had to follow suit.
In the restoration proposal it was suggested to construct the stove in the classical manner by means of potter’s clay and wire in the museum building in Mäsiarska Street in Levoča (an open depository). However, in such a case the stove could not be used for exhibition purposes, because the dismantling and re-building would be very demanding, jeopardising also the restored sections. Therefore, a wooden construction was made which serves as a skeleton of the stove. With it, individual tiles can be attached without using the potter’s clay. The stove can simply be dismantled by means of glued-on eyes and hooks and re-build again. This makes it possible to use the stove as an exhibition item and then deposit it in the depository without any further interventions.