I never knew the old Vienna before the war with its Strauss music, its glamour and easy charm. Constantinople suited me better. I really got to know it in the classic period of the black market. We’d run anything if people wanted it enough and had the money to pay. Of course a situation like that does tempt amateurs, but, well, you know, they can’t stay the course like a professional.
Carol Reed – The Third Man
Oil on canvas harbor scene signed by the artist and dated 1880 and marked Wien a.k.a. Vienna. The signature has a less than legible first initial (or two) and then reads Joseffy.
I propose this is P Joseffy based on style characteristics. I’ve tried to find exemplars of this signature but my favorite off shore based reference site is not currently accepting my attempts at payment, which I never expected. So the best example I have is at the second above link and it is a dead ringer, except for the treatment of the first initial.
I’m not currently sure of any biographical information about Joseffy other than who I can be sure it’s not. It is not one of the more famous (relatively speaking) Joseffys such as the pianist or the famed illusionist. The pianist moved to the US a year before this was painted and the illusionist, while Viennese, was born in 1873 so he would have been a precocious little twerp to paint this picture at 7 years old.
On the revere is an ink back stamp which reads A. CHRAMOSTA, Stadt Düsseldorf WIEN, Käernestrasse 20. It’s a bit tough to read but we used some alternate light sources to show it off better. As it turns out Anton Chramosta was one of the leading art suppliers to Viennese artists of the day.
The picture was ‘restored’ in 1979 by a resident of Welches, Oregon. I’m unsure if this was a skilled amateur restoration or a professional one since I have trouble reading the signature (it might be Gregory Deferroheuer?). Regardless they seem to have done an OK job. There are repairs to small canvas tears that are solid and the picture looks pretty clean too.
There is a small paint chip (3/8 inch long) on the lower edge near the center as shown in the slideshow below but it is an unobtrusive flaw.
The stretchers look to be original and are in good condition. The frame is bears the telltale M&F label of Meier and Frank, suggesting it was added at the time of the restoration.
Overall the painting is in good condition and measures 25 1/2 by 30 1/2 inches in frame (canvas size is 22 by 27 inches). It’s a quality work and needs a good home!
We’re asking $1750.