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Summary

1. History of bronze casting in Zipser Neudorf (Spišská Nová Ves) on the basis of the baptismal fonts in comparison with bells. The main periods are: the second half of the 14th century – Master Matthias (about 1427 – after 1440), the mid 15th century – the late works under Johannes Wagner (end of 15th century – 1513). 2. Two sporadic works, the baptismal fonts of Durlsdorf and Altwalddorf. 3. The attribution of the Bartfeld baptismal font to the Cracow master Hannus Frewdental whose signed and dated (1420) baptismal font stands in the Church of the Holy Spirit in Cracow.

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The paper discusses the system of late Avar bronze casting workshops of the Carpathian Basin, their specialisation and the problems of the distribution of bronze objects. Comparing the strong specialisation, which seems certain also from the experiences of practical archaeology, with the strong probability that most of the late Avar casts were re-moulded, the extensive attitude of the Avar period workshop practice becomes conspicuous. The lack of mass produced objects refutes the existence of a regular circulation of bronze objects independent of the producer. The reconstructed system rather implies the activity of itinerant artisans. Thus the concept of “workshop” in the late Avar Carpathian Basin actually means the complexity of know-how and material goods concentrated around a master without having a spatial relevance. The organisation of work is different from the system of localised workshops of the West European Merovingian and Carolingian periods.

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