Josef Šediva (1853–1915) and his Collection of Musical Instruments at the National Museum – Czech Museum of Music
The musical instruments in the collections of the National Museum – Czech Museum of Music are of diverse origins: besides valuable aristocratic and monastic funds, a significant portion consists of private gifts and bequests. A significant set of musical instruments was bequeathed to the museum by Josef Šediva, an instrument maker of Czech descent based in Odessa in Ukraine at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century. Šediva donated it to the Museum of the Kingdom of Bohemia in Prague over the course of several years with the aim of enriching the collections of this purely national institution, which he clearly felt a strong patriotic affinity for, as he himself expressed on multiple occasions in his correspondence. He did not gift the museum with only musical instruments, but he also donated some iconographic and printed materials, which include Šediva's own manual for the construction of musical instruments.