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Jan Nepomuk Graf von Harrach letter, additional photos

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Documents202 of 303Ford Motor Company Archives Appraisal 15 September 1964Letter from Jan Nepomuk Graf von Harrach to the office of Emperor Franz Joseph I, dated Febr. 28, 1909
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Posted 5 years ago


(464 items)

Additional document photos of the Harrach letter - I welcome any improvements to the transcription as I have written it below:

Eure Excellenz!

Lange habe ich gezögert - durch das hochgeehrte Schreiben Euere Exzellenz das ich eben erhaltenfühle ich mich aber bemäßigt mich vertrauensvoll an Eure Excellenz zu wenden, indem ich leider mittheilen muß: dass mein Leiden seit 1 Jahr des bestehens nicht abgenommen hat und der hiesige Aufenthalt bei den schauderhaften climatischen Verhältnissen nur eine Verschlimmerung hervorgebracht hat, so dass ich endlich gezwungen bin zu erklären: dass es mir bei meinem Alter und der Entfernung von Prag nicht mehr möglich sein wird der ehrenvollen Aufgabe als Präsident der Moderne Gallerie des Königreich Böhmen zu genügen und daher bitten muß eine neue Besetzung das Präsidiums das Curatoriums gütigst einzuleiten. Schließlich muss ich bemerken, dass ich gegen niemanden eine Äußerung von der Euer Excellenz Erwähnung getan, ausgesprochen habe und mit Bedauern auf meine Stellung verzichten muss, die mir durch das Vertrauen Ihre Majestät verliehen wurde. Mit dem Ausdrucke der vorzüglichsten hochachtung

Euer Excellenz,


J Grf Harrach

Abbazia, am 28. februar 1909


  1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Hi. I note the following suggestions:
    line 2 'Schreiben Euer' rather than 'Euere'
    He uses 'Excellenz' throughout the document rather than 'Exzellenz'. You have one example of Exzellenz in line 3.
    line 3 'erhalten - fühle' rather than 'erhaltenfühle'
    line 10 'des Präsidiums des Curatoriums' rather than 'das P das C'

    I like the use of the 'c' in Excellenz and the use of it in 'climatischen' rather than 'klimatischen', and 'Curatorioms' rather than 'Kuratoriums'. Perhaps they show a 'local flavour'?

    Comment about line 13 "Ihre Majestät" . Did he get the job from his or her Majesty?

    I congratulate you on a fabulous piece of work.
    I just love the embossed "feathers"/"propellers".
  2. bohemianglassandmore bohemianglassandmore, 5 years ago
    Thanks, vetraio50 - good catch on das vs. des - I also corrected the variations on Excellenz v. Exzellenz and Euer vs. Euere - they didn't seem to make a difference to the translation, though. One thing that struck me about this letter is that when he was writing official titles, the style of writing went from a straight kurrent type script to a more traditional Latin script. For example, no mark over the letter u, a traditional final s, a, etc. - it plays havoc with google translate (which seems to be better at translation than most other sites I tried) The abbreviation for His Majesty kind of threw me, too... I dont have a translation guide for abbreviations - I had to take my best guess. Another thing that continues to elude me is the word bemäßigt - I don't think there is any doubt that the spelling is correct, and I found the word in German documents online, but there is no translation for it that I could find. Rather than assume it was misspelled (first letter should be 'g', perhaps?), I just left it as is. The other confusing line is the one about "I have spoken out against anyone"... I'm still not happy with that sentence. In the end, I figured I would just do the best I could with the German, then paraphrase in plain English what I thought he was trying to say, while keeping as much of the translated wording as possible.

    According the the website of the National Gallery of Prague, "in 1902 the Picture Gallery was accompanied by yet another significant institution , the Modern Gallery of the Kingdom of Bohemia, as a private foundation of Emperor Franz Joseph I. The Modern Gallery then began to build its core collection of 20th century art." It makes sense that the Emperor would at the very least personally approve, if not hand select, the appointment of his foundation's president.
    I believe the letter is probably addressed to a senior member of the Emperor's staff (secretary or chief of staff), rather than the Emperor himself, which is why I assumed "to the office of" - I unfortunately did not get the envelope that may have originally accompanied this letter. I'll say this - for less than$20.00, this document has provided me with hours of enjoyment, and is one of the coolest things I've found on eBay.

    Still to come - I have a genealogical document signed by the man who established the Harrach glassworks in 1712 - Aloys Thomas Raimund Graf von Harrach. That one is much harder than this one to decipher, but it is cooler still - a full color painting of the Harrach coat of arms and the official wax seals of Harrach and two other men who witnessed the document.
  3. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Check out the label on the new Pallme Konig vase. What's your reading of it?
  4. SteveS SteveS, 4 years ago
    Hi Warren
    Translator pro on iPad translates "bemäßigt" as "be moderate" ...
  5. SteveS SteveS, 4 years ago
    Came back looking for a Reference to one of the Harrachs' heading the Austrian delegation to St Louis World Fair ... which I am fairly sure you referenced amongst your posts ...
    ... did you notice that the creative director was one "Max Ritter von Spann" ... yes the typo is intentional here (as per the Web-site) ...
    Wondering if there is an on-line resource associated ...?

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