Maria von Peteani & Johann Strauss, Jr.

"A discovery with surprising results" The author wishes to  express his sincere 
thanks to all the Ladies and Gentlemen who unselfishly supported him, in both advise and deed.

by Peter Rath

One is repeatedly amazing by how much undiscovered treasures lie hidden in the old Yearbooks of the Austrian Exlibris Society. The introduction of a new Exlibris Artist in the Yearbook No. 7 of the year 1909, and a further mention of her in No. 9 in 1911 in the Section - "A Potpourri of New Exlibris" - led me to my research of the theme of music-related Exlibris with the greatest concentration of my effort to this present day

The Artist, Maria von Peteani, well known as a writer in Upper-Austria, surprises us with three Exlibris that she has created. In the year 1909, she produced a bookplate for "Josef Simon", in 1911 one for "Alice Epstein" and one for "Frau Johann Strauss" The text in the 1911 article reads - "The Exlibris forms a homage to Frau Johann Strauss, to her immortal husband, the unforgettable King of the Waltz. It is an Allegory of Music, Dance and Zest for Life and it points to the never dying Operetta, 'Die Fledermaus.' We are delighted to present both of these from one of our first 'Collotypes' of the Vienna Art Institute; we are convinced that their publication will contribute to the result, that this unjustly neglected technique of printing - reproduction will be made popular once again." The discovery of this literary Estate of Maria von Peteani in the City Archives in the Town of Linz could serve as a basis for farther research. 1. This literary estate was deposited in the Linz City Archives in 1964 and 1965, and the rest in 1971 by her Secretary of many years and later adopted daughter, Else Barabas-Sauer (recently deceased).
In these originan documents one found not only cross-references to Austrian Culture and the Music Scene, but also unknown letters and family records, which are published here for the very first time. 
  

Maria von Peteani was born on February 2, 1888, the daughter of the Postal Councilor, Dr. Edmund Sauer of Prague. In 1890 her family moved to Linz. She attended Grammar School and the Girls High School, studied English, French and Italian. She studied drawing under Prof. Eduard Lorenz, took piano Lessons from her father. In 1908 she married the Opera Singer, Eugen von Peteani, Imperial Knight of Steinberg (1873-1913) and landowner of Goerz (now Gorizia near Trieste). In 1909 as a result of the bankruptcy of the Lenassi Bank in Goerz, he nearly lost his whole fortune.

Guest performances, as the Tenor of the Vienna and Budapest Imperial Opera, took him to Stockholm and Milano. After some difficulties with his vocal-chords and facing his financial ruin, Eugen and Maria opened in 1912 a Guesthouse in his inherited exclusive residence in Goerz. But, Fate had decided otherwise, and Eugen died already in 1913 of a stroke. Physically and mentally ill, Maria moved back to live with her mother in Linz. Since that time she worked as a freelancer in Linz. During the years 1910 through 1920, Maria von Peteani was an active illustrator.