Amulets, Necklaces & Jewelry

After the 1968 Prague Spring and the subsequent invasion of Warsaw Pact forces, Ester Krumbachová was one of many Czech artists effectively silenced and non-officially banned from Barrandov Film Studios until 1989. Occasionally finding work in film, sometimes under a friend’s name, she earned money from making amulets. Working with Fimo modelling clay and her kitchen oven, she created raw designs that combined many materials in each unique necklace. The pieces demonstrate her interest in alchemy, the esoteric and the transmutation of materials, and relate back to her innovative concepts in costume and set design.

Ester Krumbachová’s amulets store different kinds of energy in every piece. The production of amulets was subject not just to aesthetic requirements, but also astrology and numerology. Their materiality was important as well. The objects for the production of each amulet had to be varied in origin: produced industrially and by hand; natural and artificial; gifted, old, and used; bought and stolen; her personal things were used as well. The amulets thus connect Krumbachová with the whole fellowship of their bearers and confirm the circle of friendship and care. The amulets were designed with regards to their recipient, who always got the amulet with a letter and a description of its effects. Some of the recipients attest to their efficacy to this day.

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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace. Undated. Various materials (natural and coloured ropes, Fimo modelling clay, paint, metal, beads). 2020. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Various materials (coloured ropes, Fimo modelling clay, paint). 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Various materials (rope, Fimo modelling clay, fine wire, leather, paint). 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Various materials (rope, Fimo modelling clay, metal, paint). 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Various materials (rope, Fimo modelling clay, leather, paint). 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Various materials (rope, Fimo modelling clay, plastic, paint). 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Various materials (rope, Fimo modelling clay, fine wire, paint). 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Various materials (leather, Fimo modelling clay, sea and nut shells, stones, paint). 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Various materials (rope, Fimo modelling clay, metal, paint). 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet / Necklace. Undated. Various materials (leather, Fimo modelling clay). 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet / Necklace. Undated. Various materials (leather, Fimo modelling clay). 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet / Necklace. Undated. Various materials (leather, Fimo modelling clay). 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet / Necklace. Undated. Various materials. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet / Necklace. Undated. Various materials. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet / Necklace. Undated. Various materials. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet / Necklace. Undated. Various materials. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet / Necklace. Undated. Various materials. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet / Necklace. Undated. Various materials. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet / Necklace. Undated. Various materials (coloured leather, Fimo modelling clay). 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet. Undated. Various materials (seal, mother of pearl, glass beads, leather, wire, stone). 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet. Undated. Various materials. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace. Undated. Various materials. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Slogans and Amulets. Undated. Plastic file, handwritten and typewritten text, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet (Left-hand Loop). Undated. Handwritten text, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. The Final Part of the Amulet. Undated. Handwritten text, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet for Perseverance and Victory. Undated. Typewritten text, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet for Perseverance and Victory. Undated. Typewritten text, paper. 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Amulet of Dusk for Exceptional Luck. Undated. Handwritten text, paper. 2019. […]
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2022. […]

In looking at Ester Krumbachová’s jewellery and amulets today, what stands out is their materiality. Still, her jewellery could be interpreted as a critique of consumer culture – it was based on recycling and handicraft. At times they also seem to have not even been made by human hands, but by some natural force. They connect artificially created nature with organic artificiality. In her films, they are not passive accessories, but rather actively influence events; they are not mere props, but participants.

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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Photograph, cardboard. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Photograph, cardboard. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Photograph, cardboard. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Photograph, cardboard. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Photograph, cardboard. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Necklace / Amulet. Undated. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Rings. Undated. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Miloš Fikejz. Tereza Brdečková with a necklace. ca. 1984. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Miloš Fikejz. Tereza Brdečková with a necklace. ca. 1984. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Ota Kamenský (?). Costume for the film fairy tale "The Brave Blacksmith”. 1983. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Ota Kamenský. Props for the film fairy tale "The Brave Blacksmith”. 1983. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Ota Kamenský. Props for the film fairy tale "The Brave Blacksmith”. 1983. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Ota Kamenský (?). Costume for the film fairy tale "The Brave Blacksmith”. 1983. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Jan Kuděla (?). Costume for the film "Straw Hat". ca. 1971. Photograph, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat". ca. 1971. Pencil, tempera, transparent paper, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, tempera, transparent paper, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, tempera, transparent paper, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, tempera, transparent paper, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, tempera, transparent paper, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, colour pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, colour pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, colour pencil, tempera, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Pencil, colour pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the film "Straw Hat”. ca. 1971. Photograph. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Pencil, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design. Undated. Liner, transparent paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the theatrical performance “Macbeth". ca. 1978. Photograph, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the theatrical performance “Macbeth”. ca. 1978. Photograph, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Jewellery design for the theatrical performance “Macbeth”. ca. 1978. Photograph, paper. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová, Miroslav Lamač (?). Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová, Miroslav Lamač (?). Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová, Miroslav Lamač (?). Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová, Miroslav Lamač (?). Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová, Miroslav Lamač (?). Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová, Miroslav Lamač (?). Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová, Miroslav Lamač (?). Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová, Miroslav Lamač (?). Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2019. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2022. […]
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Ester Krumbachová. Untitled. Undated. Photograph, Polaroid. 2022. […]