Man in Knittelfeld, Austria

By: usermattw

Jun 06 2019

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Men


Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Carte de visite (CDV) measuring 2.5 x 4 inches.


What I know about it:

Photographer is Josef Gnad of Knittelfeld, Austria.  And see comments below.


I usually try to figure out as much as I can about a photo before posting it, but since my readers have demonstrated that they enjoy contributing to the research, I’ll start sharing more of the ones that have stumped me.  This is an example.  Hopefully you, my readers, can help me fill in the blanks of my understanding of it.  Here’s what I know:  This is a photo taken by Josef Gnad at his studio in the Hotel Eck in Knittelfeld, Austria.  (Steiermark is known in English as Styria, and is a state in lower Austria.)  Printed on the back is a notice that negatives (“plates”) are kept for future prints, but that reprinting is forbidden (presumably by anybody other than Mr. Gnad).  Also, the card with the attractive graphic design showing the photographer’s information, onto which was pasted the photograph to create the carte de visite, would have been purchased by the photographer from a purveyor of such supplies, and at the bottom of the back you can see that that seller was Leopold Loebenstein of Vienna.  So then my questions:  Who is this man?  The signature on the front suggests (but doesn’t prove) that he’s somebody of some significance, but I can’t read the writing.  Maybe Hickner or Hirkner?  And why is the name repeated on the back?  What is that extra word on the back?  It almost looks like Postmeister (Postmaster), which might explain what appear to be postal cancellations on both sides, though it doesn’t quite look like that, and even then it doesn’t make particular sense to me.  In the United States, there were revenue stamps used on the backs of photos for a period in the 1860s, and those were sometimes cancelled, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.  As for the cancellations, is the date July 23, 1910?  Is that date related to the photo, or to something else?  I may have an elegant portrait of the old postmaster of Knittelfeld, but it’s just as likely to be something else.  In any case, it’s yet another opportunity to look back across time at a man I’ll never otherwise know, and if he felt good enough about his portrait to autograph it for someone, I’ll say I agree.

2 comments on “Man in Knittelfeld, Austria”

  1. Love what appears to be a lily-of-the-valley boutonniere.

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