Jiří and oriental studies


"I've got various things here, like Tibetan charms that are really enchanted-they could be haunting. But they're not. If you treat them well, the spirits treat you well." 

The interest in the culture of the eastern peoples and their ancient civilization brought Winter among the important Czech orientalists. He lent objects from his collections, especially ritual and religious artifacts from the Far East, several times for exhibition purposes at the National, or Thimble museum and he himself exhibited such objects a few times. He got into collecting through his friend Bedřich Kopecný, who created subjects for his drawings. Together with his partner Tomek, Bedřich owned Orientbazar, where you could buy various antiques. "I liked to visit the "Orientbazar", which belonged to Bedřich Kopecný and his partner Tomko. I got to know Kopecný already during the war. After the universities were closed in 1939, he left his studies at the Faculty of Civil Engineering forever and opened a store with Tomko in Wenceslas Passage a shop with oriental curiosities. I went there to choose things for the collection - carpets, sabers, pistols and revolvers - and Kopecný and I had expert discussions about Japanese figurines, African masks and the remains of a mummified person from the pharaoh's tomb. Kopecný was a funny companion and had a lot interests, ten years older and I enjoyed talking to him." Collaborator Miloslav Švandrlík later commented on his passion for collecting as follows: "I'm not an expert, I won't describe his extensive collections, but I'll admit that I'm most shocked by the fact that he has over eight hundred rare human skulls in his villa and that he has two dogs (Afghan hound and poodle) don't eat."