Man in lederhosen with blue socks

What it is:

Cabinet card measuring a bit less than 4 x 8.25 inches.

What I know about it:

Photographer is Gebrüder König of Czernowitz (which is now Chernivtsi, Ukraine).  The lithography on the back was done by Bernhard Wachtl of Vienna.  Otherwise undated and unidentified.


This is another one that sent me down a rabbit hole of Googling.  I figured we were returning to the Austro-Hungarian Empire with this one, but I was startled to realize that this city is in what’s now Ukraine.  Ukraine!  It just serves to remind me how big that empire was in its day.  The town’s region was annexed by Austria in 1775, so it’s probably safe to say this photo was produced after that date, though I would have guess that anyway.  Under Austrian rule it was capital of the region called Bukovina.  After WWI it was part of the Kingdom of Romania.  After WWII it was annexed by the Soviet Union.  And since 1991 it has been part of Ukraine.  The photographer’s advertising on the back includes the words Unterhalb der Paraskiewakirche, which translates to “under the Paraskeva Church”.  (Gebrüder König, incidentally, translates literally to “King Brothers”.)  By “under” the church, I assume they mean down the hill slightly, or in the shadow of the church, not literally in the basement, but who knows.  A picture of the Paraskeva Church (St. Paraskeva was a new one on me, too, but that’s too much for this post) can be found here.  What’s interesting about this picture postcard is that it was published by Leon König.  One of the König brothers, perhaps?  Anyway, back to today’s photo, our outdoorsman posing indoors, our mountaineer posing with fake rocks.  I have no idea what that belt buckle is all about.  It seems to say “Dho!” or possibly “Tho!” or “Jho!” or something, but that word (or name) means nothing to me.  Any ideas, folks?  And then there’s the wonderful tinting.  Holding the photo at an angle to see what was painted on, it’s clear that the cuffs and lapels of the jacket were colored, in addition to the socks.  The socks seem to have held up their blue pretty well, though I’m not sure what color the lapels were supposed to be.  Possibly the same blue, but painted over a darker part of the photo, and possibly something else that altered with time.  It’s peculiar to me that they bothered to tint his socks and not any of the other things that frequently get tinted, like his cheeks or the plants.  Anyway, this is one of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy it, too.

11 comments on “Man in lederhosen with blue socks”

  1. Lordy, Matt. I can’t believe you aren’t teaching some wildly popular graduate studies course in arcana. Smarty. Love the ‘hosen.

    • Ha! Thanks, Libby. Honestly, all I’m doing here is distilling a bunch of internet research into a single long paragraph. But if it makes me seem like a brain, I won’t complain. 🙂

  2. Great research, Matt! The word must be important with that huge exclamation mark to end it off.
    PS My stats went through the roof yesterday. Normally get 40-50 hits on a day when I post. Got over 100.

  3. I believe this man was actually in ‘the wizard of Oz’, and was the leader of a group of munchkins. If memory serves me he became a rouge munchkin and had to be pulled of some poor girl munchkin who was never quite the same after that. Sent to a munchkin prison, he was ultimately released after he agreed to a lead a traveling group of yodelers. When last seen he was quite insane and ultimately succeeded in strangling himself with his own lederhosen. Of course I could be wrong about all that.

  4. I think the word is “Oho!” I found a forum in a German-English dictionary that mentions the phrase “klein aber oho!” meaning, roughly, “small but look out!” and/or “good things come in small packages,” and the phrase is sometimes abbreviated “oho!”

    • Paul, thank you!! That’s fantastic. Funny, but as I was trying to figure out the first letter of that word, it just didn’t seem like an “O”. I still think it’s an odd thing to wear on a belt buckle, but that’s the best explanation I’ve heard so far, so I’ll take it. 🙂

  5. I need that belt in my life.

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