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#301

View of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, from the South

Alt, Rudolf von (1812-1905)

Official stamps are a key means of determining the provenance of a work on paper. Collectors or museums stamped works to mark their property. Decoding these collectors’ marks provides insights into the collection and its subsequent fate. In this case, a stamp on the reverse features the initials J and G, surmounted by a crown.

This collector’s stamp refers to Prince Johann Georg of Saxony, the brother of Saxony’s last king, Frederick August III. The view of St. Stephen's Cathedral had been in his collection since 1916 at the latest. After the prince’s death in 1938, there were plans to put some 1,500 works on paper up for auction by the Boerner antiquarian art dealership in Leipzig.

The significance attached to the piece is reflected in the fact that a colour reproduction was used in the auction catalogue. The valuations indicate that it was the most expensive work. However, the auction, planned for the end of April 1940, was cancelled at the last minute: Hans Posse directly acquired the best part of the works for the “Linz Special Commission” for the sum of 330,000 reichsmarks.

Official stamps are a key means of determining the provenance of a work on paper. Collectors or museums stamped works to mark their property. Decoding these collectors’ marks provides insights into the collection and its subsequent fate. In this case, a stamp on the reverse features the initials J and G, surmounted by a crown.

This collector’s stamp refers to Prince Johann Georg of Saxony, the brother of Saxony’s last king, Frederick August III. The view of St. Stephen's Cathedral had been in his collection since 1916 at the latest. After the prince’s death in 1938, there were plans to put some 1,500 works on paper up for auction by the Boerner antiquarian art dealership in Leipzig.

The significance attached to the piece is reflected in the fact that a colour reproduction was used in the auction catalogue. The valuations indicate that it was the most expensive work. However, the auction, planned for the end of April 1940, was cancelled at the last minute: Hans Posse directly acquired the best part of the works for the “Linz Special Commission” for the sum of 330,000 reichsmarks.

Material & Technique
Watercolour, white heightening over pencil
Museum
Kupferstich-Kabinett
Dating
1846
Inventory number
C 1963-1522
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