To mark the significant anniversary, the fifth anniversary of the Czechoslovak Republic, the first Czechoslovak gold coins were issued in 1923. They were (one) ducats and double ducats, for which a nationwide competition was announced, in which all important sculptors and medalists of the time entered.
These were, for example, Jaroslav Benda, Jaroslav Bruha, Jan Cejka, Zdenek Dvorak, Josef Fojtik, Antonin Odehnal, Josef Sejnost, Otakar Spanel and others. Antonin Mara was also one of them. Of the eighty-two proposals received by the commission at the time, the joint work of Otakar Spaniel and Jaroslav Benda won.
Mara was also rewarded for her proposal. The commission liked his ducat, so after 100 years he deservedly looked forward to its realization.
I believe that Mara´s ducat will also gain the popularity of the Czech and Slovak public, which will certainly appreciate the work of artists in the city of Kremnica, where this coin was minted.
The sculptor, medalist and pedagogue, Antonin Mara, was born on June 28, 1877 in Prague and died on February 27, 1946 there. After completing his basic education, he was admitted to the Prague School of Arts and Crafts under Professor Celestin Kloucek. His other teachers were Stanislav Sucharda and Felix Jenewein. In 1899 he completed his studies.
In the following years he undertook several study trips to France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia and other countries. He also worked in Vienna, where he created series of sculptures for the court castle and also participated in the plastic decoration of the museum in Magdeburg.
In 1907, he realized stucco sculptures in the summer palace of the later Czechoslovak Prime Minister Karel Kramar in the Crimea. From 1909 to 1930, he devoted himself to teaching as a professor at the State Industrial School of Sculpture and Stonemasonry in the municipality of Horice.
Antonin Mara is the author of a series of war memorials, figures, reliefs, memorial plaques, medals and other works. In his studio, monuments of Karel Havlicek Borovsky were born for the town of Horice, Krystof Harant of Polzice and Bezdruzice for Pecka Castle, busts of President Tomas Garigue Masaryk, Prime Minister Jan Cerny, Josef Kajetan Tyl and the tombstone of Matka (Mother) or Kvet Egyptu (Egypt´s Flower). It is also necessary to mention the plastic decoration of Wilson's Embankment, then the Zemska banka and Municipal House, both in Prague. The most famous of the loose sculptures are Remembrance, Man, Problem and Pieta.
The author of this text is Engineer Jiri Bohac, Forensic Expert in the Field of Numismatics.