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GOETZ: Personal Silver Petschaft about 1905


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I recently acquired this piece for my collection from the Moeller auction 41. This is a one-of-a-kind personal business tool that Goetz created to seal his personal correspondence with.

 

Beautiful and delicate this piece measures 89mm tall. The seal surface is 21mm wide. As mentioned, the handle is made from silver and the seal is made from brass.

 

I have spent some time trying to remove candle wax from the engraved recesses of the seal surface. Some idiot evidently tried to make a stamp using the wrong wax. I have yet to attempt making an actual seal but will do so in the near future. For the time being, I have horizontally flipped and then made a negative of the seal surface (blue image) to give you an idea of what a finished stamp would look like.

 

enjoy....

 

Click for hi-res of seal surface

PetschaftHandle800.jpgPetschaftboth400.jpg

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Thanks Vern.... :ninja:

 

BTW, Anyone got any input into the ancient coin he uses in the design? I'm not knowledgable about ancients but with the little I know the coin appears to be an Attica Tetradrachmon. Anyone else got any ideas?

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I have to suggest that it looks more like a stylised representation, with the flowing hair etc, of an Attica Athens Tetradrachm.

 

I would like to have the skill to engrave my own seal with this degree of artistic merit, but alas my skills are more for paper and not the metals.

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I have no idea about the ancient coin design, but that is one awesome find !!! :ninja:

 

Do you have any letters or envelopes he may have sealed using that?

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I have to suggest that it looks more like a stylised representation, with the flowing hair etc, of an Attica Athens Tetradrachm.

 

 

I would agree with it being a stylized representation. I've been puzzling over the remaining design. It seems to be a nude African woman (I get that sense from the hairdo and the style of some of his medals) and she seems to be hanging laundry(???) or laying down an element that has something to do with the rest of the abstract design. Could it be related to the casting process or ???? Do you have any idea as to what is depicted or is it a full abstract design?

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Goetz uses a similar woman in other pieces as an allegory, one that comes to mind is as "Justice". You're correct though, she is placing something upon the knights armored helmet.

 

Goetz uses the knight's helmet quite a bit...for instance, here you see one that is similar to the petschaft image albeit winged.

 

k113rev800.jpg

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Perhaps she is constructing the plumes for the top of the helment and her sewing tool is held in her mouth? I now see this helmet design on opus 58 for the numismatist, Imhoff. Any idea as to the date of the item (i.e.early in his career)?

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Yes, I believe it was early in his career and may have been made shortly after he arrived to Munich in 1904. Moeller Auction 20 has this piece listed as a Jugendstil petschaft. Jugendstil, or Youth Style, was the German rendition of art nouveau. The Jugenstil period ran from 1896 to approximately 1909. Again, I think Goetz either designed and made this piece while finishing up his apprenticeship in Paris, in anticipation of going into business for himself, or shortly after arriving in Munich. So somewhere in the period 1900-1905.

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I just received an interesting explanation of the design elements as seen through the eyes of a fellow Goetz collector...Take a read here.

 

I believe that the woman is placing a standard candle-cap upon a lit candle thereby extinguishing it, as the wafting smoke kind of lets you know. Now that the letter is written, folded, and sealed the correspondence is finshed, ended, extinguished - the illuminating candle can now be put out - by the nubian maiden. I think that dirty old Karl is letting his own dingy laundry show in this image. With their East African colonies I'll bet this was the fantasy of many a middle-class German man of the Kaiserreich period, as it was for their French, Dutch & English contemporaries.

 

You can bet he wasn't using this seal when writing to the Bishop von Stein.

 

 

Petschaftboth400.jpg

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