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PLOYER, OTOKAR. - Views, elevations and plans for the Remislavsky-Stome villa and studio in Prague, along with drawings and plans for a 'California Weekender'.

n.p. c1930-35. Eight sheets ranging in size from single sheets 21x33cm to a four fold sheet 34x83cm. These are printed by whatever lithographic process on a heavy parchment paper and coloured by hand. All have Ployer's stamps and are signed in ink. As well there is a typed signed letter, two pages on one sheet, and a photo collage card printed on the back. Together in a contemporary portfolio, 36x28cm, with ribbon ties. ¶ The client and the house are easy to track. Dancer, choreographer and former National Theatre Ballet Director Remislav Remislavsky and his ballerina wife Irmou Stome opened their purpose built dance school in 1934. He joined the resistance during war and was denounced as bourgeois and his villa seized in 1948 according to one biographer. He lived happily and taught on after the war according to another. The building survives and appears to be home now to a number of companies that don't actually do anything. The architect not so much. One drawing here has a blindstamp: "Ing. Otokar Ployer Amer. Architekt" and the photo collage card with the lot is Remislavsky's announcement that the school will open in September 1934 and was purpose designed by American architect "Playerem" (sic). On other drawings he is Ing. O. Ployer. The letter, dated January 1 1936, with the lot explains this group of drawings. He suggests in the letter that his friends might like to build his California weekender. I'd say he added a batch of drawings and plans of the Remislavsky villa - his big project - to impress his prospective clients. He mentions he is working on the design of an air raid shelter, a useful thing to have in central Europe as the thirties progress, and he filed, from Prague, for a US patent for an air raid shelter in 1939 which was granted in 1945. Elsewhere I find the suggestion that he migrated to Sweden at some stage but in 1947 the firm Ployer Otakar of the same address in Prague advertised in a Rio de Janeiro newspaper for contacts with exporters of machinery, rubber, chemicals, coffee, etc and for importers of glass, synthetic stones and toys. 1948 may well have killed that career and seen him off to Sweden. How and where he is an American architect in all this beats me. The drawings and the photos of the villa built show that a fair amount of rationalisation took place. A grandiose mansion of no fixed heritage is pruned to a large central European Mediterranean villa and built with not a whole lot more trimming down. His California weekender is ... maybe Spanish mission put into a car compactor.
AUD 185.00 [Appr.: EURO 118.75 US$ 142.66 | £UK 102.5 | JP¥ 15409] Book number 10240

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