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  • Dr. Václav Bruna, The Collector
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    Dr. Václav Bruna, The Collector

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    Václav Bruna was born in Pardubice in 1950. He spent his childhood in Český Brod, where he completed his primary and secondary education. He graduated from grammar school in 1968 and went on to study dentistry at the Medical Faculty of Charles University in Hradec Králové. He was awarded his degree in 1973 in the auditorium of the Karolinum in Prague. After his studies he worked as a dentist for the tank regiment in Martin, Slovakia. There he met the love of his life, Ludmila Babinská, whom he married in 1976.

    po promoci v karolinu 73-2

    From 1975 he was under surveillance by the State Security because of his criticism of the communist regime and his distribution of both the bimonthly exile magazine ‘Listy’ and Charter 77. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison for the crime of sedition. After serving his sentence, he worked as a company doctor at Makyta Púchov in Slovakia. In 1988, he and his wife Ludmila managed to emigrate to Austria via the former Yugoslavia and were granted political asylum. In Austria, Bruna worked for three years as a dentist in dental clinics in Salzburg and Linz. After the long-awaited revolution, the couple settled in the Austrian town of Freistadt, near the border with the Czech Republic. In 1992, Bruna founded a dental clinic in Dolní Dvořiště, which became the first private medical facility in Czechoslovakia. He worked there both as a director and dentist. At present he has taken on the role of its administrator.

    Bruna s manzelkou 1

    In addition to numismatics, Bruna’s interests include collecting paintings and breeding racehorses. His favourite painters are Josef Čapek and Václav Špála. He breeds racehorses at his estate in the eastern Czech municipality of Zámrsk. His most successful horse, the bay Peruán, was a three-time winner of the Grand Pardubice Steeplechase. Peruán’s victory is forever commemorated by a bronze statue outside the Zámrsk racing centre, which Bruna had cast in his honour in 2019.

    s vítězem VP Peruánem

    Bruna became interested in numismatics when he was in middle school. The first coins he acquired were silver mintages of Franz Joseph I, and Czechoslovak silver korunas of various denominations. He would get coins for his collection from friends and classmates in exchange for other interesting items. His father, who had a background in the humanities, was very fond of young Václav’s interest in old coins and began to encourage this new hobby. For 10 crowns he bought him his first truly valuable piece – a medieval Prague groschen of the Bohemian king Wenceslas II. It was a momentous occasion and an unforgettable experience for the young Václav.

    s rodici a bratrem na vylete

    Already during his studies and later in Slovakia, Bruna managed to buy several interesting and valuable pieces for his collection. After being released from prison, he went on a shopping spree, sometimes buying entire collections from estates. When he and his wife Ludmila decided to emigrate, he was faced with the question of how to raise the money for the trip and what to take with him to provide some financial security for their new life abroad. He decided to sell some of his rare coins, such as a very rare 1933 Czechoslovak 10 koruna in exceptional condition. Once their financial situation in Austria had stabilised, he returned to buying coins at auctions and in various antique shops. Indeed, he was constantly adding to his collection.

    Bruna s manzelkou 2 copy

    Václav Bruna’s collection was created over half a century and has been systematically built up in recent decades as a testimony to the minting and circulation of coins on the territory of the present-day Czech Republic from antiquity to the period of the first Czechoslovak Republic. The collection focuses on coins of the Bohemian and Moravian Celts, coins of the medieval Bohemian state and Habsburg coins issued by Bohemian and Moravian mints, especially from the 16th to 18th century. The collection also includes coins of the most influential Bohemian nobility – the Pernštejn, Rosenberg, and Schlick dynasties, Charles Egon II and others. Dozens of his often unique coins, purchased all over the world, come from old collections.

    Bruna Sberatel Praha 3

    “My collection is exceptional in the sense that I have put it together with an educational purpose. It contains only coins of Bohemian and Czech provenance, that is, coins minted exclusively in this country, from the earliest Celtic coins, through the Middle Ages and modern times, to coins of Czechoslovakia, and that is something I am rather proud of. In a way, the collection is a minted history of the Czech nation. The only coins I regret are those I didn’t buy. I would like to say to my fellow collectors that, like me, you have chosen the most wonderful hobby, because you learn a lot from it and get to know history in a way you never could from books,” says Dr. Václav Bruna.

    Bruna sberatel Praha 2 copy 2