Already from the first days of the newly established Czechoslovak Republic, politicians and economists dealt with the idea of presenting the state by issuing gold coins. The ideal term was offered in 1923 when the Republic celebrated its five years of existence. To this date, a competition for the first Czechoslovak ducat was announced, which was attended by almost all leading medalists. We can only mention at random Otakar Spaniel, Josef Sejnost, Jaroslav Benda, Josef Fojtik, Jan Cejka, Antonin Mara and others. Among them was Jaroslav Bruha. The Commission received a total of 82 proposals, out of which the joint work of O. Spaniel and J. Benda won. The second place went to Jaroslav Bruha. It was a great success for this artist, who lost one eye in his youth, and created this beautiful masterpiece. Bruha's ducat was completed until the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic. Subsequently, it is part of four ducats´set , produced in 2020.
Jaroslav Bruha, a sculptor, medalist and restorer, was born in Prague on February 11, 1889 and died in Prague on January 5, 1976. He was a stucco worker and in 1908 he joined the Prague School of Applied Arts. His head was prof. Josef Drahonovsky. From 1911 to 1917 he continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, where his artistic growth was influenced by professors Josef Vaclav Myslbek, Stanislav Sucharda and Jan Stursa. During his studies he was awarded the sculpture "Simon Lomnicky Begs on the Bridge." Master Bruha was a realistic artist and during his lifetime he created interesting sculptures, sculptures and medals. His works were decorated in Prague by the House of Trade Unions Na Perstyne, Tyrs's House in Ujezd, the former Health Insurance Company in Havlickovo Square and the Falcon House in Prague's Lesser Town, Chotebor and Litomysl. A great part of his medal works are works for the Sokol organization. In addition to smaller medals and plaques for various falcon races and events, Jaroslav Bruha is the author of a 1932 commemorative medal for the 100th anniversary of the birth of dr. Miroslav Tyrs, monument to dr. Jan Podlipny in Liben, busts of Frantisek Krizik at the Primary School in Planice and the sculpture "Carnation Saleswoman" located in the hall of the railway station in Klatovy. According to his proposal, a silver hundred-crown commemorative coin to the 10th anniversary of the Czechoslovakian liberation was also published in 1955. Bruha's ducat will surely be one of the favorite gold coins that will be appreciated and sought after not only by the numismatic public.
Author of Text: Ing. Jiri Bohac
Forensic expert in numismatics
From the memories of J. Bruha´s son, John
I remember more serious injury from my father's story. Daddy was about five years old when he stabbed in his left eye. But even after a difficult operation, the eye failed to save. Then Dad had to deal with the loss of plastic vision. Yet he chooses to study sculpture and medalism. He then became a pupil of J. V. Myslbek. He once praised him for the sculpture "Simon Lomnicky of Budec" said "Jan Zizka was one-eyed and how famous". If you continue like now, you will be famous.
It is up to the experts to judge how the father succeeded.
Czechoslovakia (1918-1938), 1 ducat 1923, J. Bruha, Mint of Kremnica - test specimen, National Museum Collection, HS-104290;