A confectioner and an art collector
Confectioner Johann Valentin Prehn collected his private “cosmos” in the form of a private chamber of art and curiosities in his home and business premises on the Zeil, one of the most famous streets in Germany.Over the course of many decades, he compiled a universal collection which also contained scientific objects and ethnographic rarities. Over 800 miniature paintings took centre stage – the “small painting cabinet” which he arranged artistically in 32 wooden shutters. The collector made the golden frames for his pictures himself: For this, he used “tragacanth” as a thickening agent, which the confectioner also needed for his artistic confectionary creations and table decorations.
Prehn lived on the Zeil, the old grand boulevard of Frankfurt near his friends Johann Ludwig Ernst and Johann Friedrich Morgenstern, collector Johann Friedrich Daems and art critic Heinrich Sebastian Hüsgen. Around eight drawers with a total of approx. 160 paintings can be seen in the Collector’s Museum; the other 26 drawers are presented on guided tours.