Václav Havel’s green jacket, which he still wore as a dissident at the time in the pivotal moments of 1989, was auctioned today in Prague for 2.76 million crowns, including the auction surcharge. The starting price was 200,000 crowns.
In the iconic park, among other things, the dissident gave his speech on November 25, 1989 on the Letenská plain, which became the site of the largest demonstration against communist power in Czechoslovakia.
Read more about Václav Havel during the Velvet Revolution here:
Part of the auctioned work was a handwritten text by Havel dated February 21, 1989, when the District Court for Prague 3 sentenced him to nine months in prison for participating in protests during the so-called Palach’s Week. Havel’s sister-in-law Dagmar received the manuscript, whom he hugged upon entering the courtroom and managed to slip the writing into her coat without the State Security noticing.
As well as the jacket, two paintings that Havel painted in the 1950s were also auctioned today to benefit the reconstruction of the Lucerne Palace. The painting entitled Self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh, which is a free variation on one of the artist’s famous self-portraits, was sold for 550,000 crowns. The expressive painting Landscape with the Sun, which also comes from the estate of Havel’s brother Ivan, was sold for 600,000 crowns.
The organizers of the Galerie Kodl auction house for the auction of Havel’s paintings stated that the artistic talent of the young Václav Havel was only known to those closest to him, and even then only among friends from his early youth. The paintings at the pre-auction exhibition of the Kodl Gallery delighted the collecting public and admirers of the first Czech president.