The Last Will and Codicils of A. F. Seligmann (1862-1945): Complete Text, Including the Nachtrag Dated February 25, 1944, for the Disposition of the Beethoven Skull Fragments

By Liebmann, Hannah; Meredith, William | The Beethoven Journal, Summer 2005 | Go to article overview

The Last Will and Codicils of A. F. Seligmann (1862-1945): Complete Text, Including the Nachtrag Dated February 25, 1944, for the Disposition of the Beethoven Skull Fragments


Liebmann, Hannah, Meredith, William, The Beethoven Journal


This translation of Adalbert Seligmann's will is based on a typed copy in the family archives of Paul and Joan Kaufmann. Adalbert inherited the fragments from his father, Romeo Seligmann, to whom they had been given in 1863 after the first exhumation of Beediovens remains. Section IV contains the only discussion of the skull fragments.

COPY

I. My Last Will!1

Proclaimed on January 21,1946, by Dr. Ernst Wolf, signed, notary public acting as court commissioner.

Since quite a few things concerning my last will have changed since my disposition on October 8, 1942, several of my instructions have become irrelevant. I therefore order the following:

1. My funeral shall be as simple as possible, the ceremony as short as properly permitted by Roman Catholic rites: no death announcements are to be published, no speeches made at my coffin. My family plot is located at the Döblinger (Türkenschanz) cemetery, XDC, Hartäckerstraße, Group 12, Row No. 5, and it is paid up until 1948 (September 15).

2. My estate consists of:

A. My furniture and other household articles, most of them inherited from my parents and of considerable cultural historical interest because of their age, origin, and partly also because of their artistic value. These objects, certified as valuable by the Institute for the Preservation of Monuments2 have recently been bought by Ingenieur3 Max Ernst Gramm from Stuttgart, at present living in Vienna (III., Schredrgasse 7) with the provision that he lend them to me for my personal use rill the end of my life and that after my death he would arrange them in his home in exactly the same way as they were arranged in my place. The contract of purchase with a detailed listing of the different objects is attached. The down payment has been made, the remainder of the purchase price (8,000 RM [Reichsmark]) is to be paid after my death, as agreed upon, to my executor Hofrat Dr. Fritz Habierinek, L, Rosengasse 2. Since it can be expected that at that time considerable changes might have occurred in monetary value, I can only suggest that the sum be used to cover as much of the expenses of the estate as possible. The same goes for any cash, bonds, and stocks, as well as my savings account (Postsparkassenkonto, Wien 54408) that might be left in my estate.

B. In addition, most likely there will be some objects of relatively stable value in me estate, namely:

1. A valuable viola in a strong red-brown leather case (ca. 4,000 RM), Italian, supposedly Maggini (original purchase price from Hammc Company in Stuttgart) (from the pre-war era!)

2. The solo and concert violin of Jos. [Josef] HeIlmesberger Jr. (ca. 1,200 RM) (J- B. Vuillaume, Paris) in the original case.

3. An exquisite Italian violin (P.ohius et Caloannius fratellifec. Genua, 1701) in a black case, worth at least (!) 3,000 RM.

4. A good cello in a strong pigskin case, ca. 600 RM. More information about these instruments can be found inside their cases.4

It is possible that I might be forced to sell one or the other pieces before my death, yet under somewhat normal conditions it should be possible to cover the expenses of the estate with the remainder.

5. Several of my large and smaller paintings, namely:

"The Holy Family," ca. 1.70 m. x 2.20 m,, framed;

"Mater dolorosa," ca. 2 m. x 3 m. (rolled up), started in 1918, finished in 1935;

"The Periods of Life," ca. 1.20 m. x 1.70 m., without frame, painted in 1895.

(All three paintings were exhibited at one time at the Wiener Künstlerhaus.)

In addition:

"Inside the Forest near Isch J," oil in black frame, ca. 50 x 80 cm., (upright format);

"From the Salzburg Street (Ischl)," oil on cardboard, ca 35 x 70 cm., without frame;

"Dietach Castle near Weis," oil on cardboard, ca. 45 x 35 cm., in black frame;

"Dietach Castle near Weis" (driveway), oil on cardboard, ca. …

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