A hunt? A slaughter!

A hunt? A slaughter!

When the queen travels, journalists are there – that’s true today, it was true almost 175 years ago. "The illustrated london news" reported, for example, in words and pictures on the journey of queen victoria and prince albert to coburg and gotha in the summer of 1845. At that time (as today) the press was not squeamish when it came to criticizing and scandalizing. That victoria and albert took part in a "set hunt" during their visit to the gotha district of germany was heavily criticized in england.

In the discontinued hunt, the game is carefully driven into a forest stump bordering on an open field several days beforehand. Both the forest stucco and a piece of the open area are closed off with cloth and nets, so that the game can no longer get out. In the open space there is a pavilion from which the hunting guests push as soon as the game is massively driven out of the forest onto the open space.

Sliding to waltz music

200 pieces of game had the forsters of duke ernst II. The duke and his 20 (male) hunting guests shot 48 of them; another 18 pieces of game, which were shot, were killed during the search. For the illustrated london news this hunt was a "slaughter, the game "is shot by a society that stands at a table as if in a salon and listens to waltzes and polkas by straub hort".

Albert had tried in advance to persuade his brother, duke ernst II, to marry him., from the hunting spectacle "since victoria does not like such things" and because he probably knew the differences of the english and german hunting practice. In england, they used to chase after the wild animals that had the possibility of escape, instead of keeping them in beforehand and putting them in the middle of a fenced area.

Hubertus habel shows these connections in his contribution for the yearbook of the coburg state foundation 2018. It is one of the shorter contributions and one of the four that directly or indirectly contributed to the "200 years of victoria and albert" jubilee reference. Eckhard monnig portrays the director of the gymnasium casimirianum, johann christoph matthias reinecke, who was commissioned by duke franz friedrich anton to bring together the duke’s natural history cabinet and the gymnasium’s collection in a museum.

Evolutionary theory before darwin

These collections are one of the forerunners of the coburg museum of natural history. The other forerunners are the collections of princes ernst and albert, and they in turn were indirectly influenced by reinecke: their educator christoph martin florschutz was a student of reinecke and implemented some of his educational principles in the princes.

Apart from that, reinecke formulated "40 years before darwin" a theory of evolution, says monnig. His contribution also shows how closely interwoven the collections in the various institutions of the landesstiftung still are today: when monning began his research on reinecke, it also involved the origins of the natural history museum (formerly the ducal). In the state archives (of the former dukedom) monnig found – there he found the deed of gift from franz friedrich anton. In the state library (formerly ducal) he finally discovered the catalog in which reinecke listed all the pieces of the natural history cabinet. So today one not only knows which pieces in the natural history museum or in the art collections come from this cabinet. One also knows what was lost.

Letters of a duchess

The library of prince consort albert in buckingham palace is the subject of the contribution by friedrich bosbach. Silvia bocking has uncovered a collection of letters in the art collections: letters from the duchess victoire of kent, queen victoria’s mother, to polyxene of tubeuf. The two had met in amorbach, where victoire lived during her first marriage to emich carl zu leiningen (1763-1814). At the age of 17, she had married her mother’s widowed brother-in-law, an uncle who was 23 years her senior. After ten years of marriage, emich carl had died, and victoire married a second time, the even older duke of kent. The two were the parents of the later queen victoria. Victoire was often criticized for the isolated upbringing of her daughter. The letters give a different view of the duchess, who lived in poor conditions in england, more tolerated than appreciated, because she was the mother of the next queen, says silvia bocking.

Shards and weapons

The collections of the landesstiftungen also come into their own in the new yearbook: archaeologist philipp schinkel has studied the ceramic and metal artifacts that were collected during construction work in the veste and on the furwitz nearby. The fragments are stored in several boxes in the natural history museum. Schinkel looked through them all, described them and established that the fortress must actually have been built around 1230. The forerunner castle was probably located at the site of furwitz. But the shards also prove that the fortress hill has been inhabited for thousands of years, and in fact continuously.

Niels fleck takes over

Alfred geibig, editor of the yearbook for many years, has contributed the catalog for the special exhibition of indonesian blank weapons to the yearbook. The archaeologist and weapons specialist of the art collections has meanwhile retired. That is why, after 30 years, he is also relinquishing the post of yearbook editor. But he has also prepared the 2019 edition, which is scheduled for publication in the summer of 2020: eckhard monnig will contribute an essay on the prince educator florschutz.

Niels fleck, curator of the art collections at the veste, is in charge of editing the yearbooks. Sven hauschke, director of the art collections, announced that in the future the yearbooks would focus more on the history of the collections, after the previous focus had been on architectural and regional history.

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