Ferdinand Schmutzer: The Joachim Quartet (1904)
Ferdinand Schmutzer (1870-1928) The Joachim Quartet. Etching. 134 x 94 cm, 33.50″ h x 47.5 “w. Robert Hausmann, cello, Josef Joachim, 1st violin, Emanuel Wirth, viola and Karl Halir, 2nd violin. One of 8 states. Musik im Bild, plate No. 50, Weixlgartner:” Das Radierte Werk v. Ferdinand Schmutzer 1896-1921″, no. 77 and p. VI, VIII; Thieme-B. XXX, 184. Signed “Ferd. Schmutzer 1904” in the plate and “Ferd. Schmutzer” in black crayon. Sold by Wurlitzer-Bruck Music Antiquarians, NY.
A reproduction of Schmutzer’s etching appeared in the Illustrated London News two days after Joachim’s death:
[Illustrated London News, Issue 3565 (August 17, 1907), p. 223]
(1870 — 1928)
Photo: Irene Messner
Austrian National Library Inv. LSCH 1457-C
Ferdinand Schmutzer in his Studio, August 11, 1911
Photo: Madame d’Ora Atelier
Austrian National Library Inv. 204728-C
Jennifer Mather said:
When my mother died, I inherited one of the eight. My great-grandfather purchased it as a gift for my great-grandmother, who was a student of Joachim. During the depression, they needed money so they decided to sell it to the Saint Louis Art Museum who agreed to purchase it but said it would take a month before the next board meeting to approve the sale. They decided if they could last a month without the money, they could last forever without the money. It has been hanging in our family’s homes every since. My mother even had the opportunity once to see another copy which was in storage in a European museum.
This is a lovely story. Did your great-grandmother perform? Did she leave any memories of Joachim? What a nice thing for you to have!
andrew schwarz said:
My family has another copy. We received it with some antiques from my father’s grand mother’s estate, items removed from Vienna when the Nazi’s came. Do you have any idea what it is worth? Ours is in beautiful shape, complete and well framed.
I’m afraid I don’t — that’s a wonderful heirloom, however!
Thank you for your reply — I don’t want to post it without your permission, since it has your contact info on it. I have seen a half-dozen of them or so in person (I also own one). The first was in the Ethnographic Museum in Kittsee, where Joachim was born. Schmutzer is a “known” artist, of course. His works don’t go for exorbitant prices, but this is exceptional. I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to its value — I suppose that also depends upon condition, etc. Its value to you is something that can’t be measured, of course. Wouldn’t we love to be a fly on the wall and observe the comings and goings, the conversations, of all these people? Such a rich culture — important to contemplate, and not to let slip into obscurity. Thank you for writing! RWE