Moderne Fotografie Carl Zapletal
From the portal of the “Children's Photographer” Carl Zapletal not only the gilded lettering above the entrance no. 73 can be seen, but also the word “Photography” high up on the facade. Zapletal moved to the address in 1923 in order to turn more to portrait photography; he had already achieved fame through his press and motorsport photographs. As early as 1911, he was the first Austrian photographer to photograph from an airplane; his pictures were shown at the International Flight Exhibition (ifa).
1080, Josefstädterstraße 25:
Alte Löwen Apotheke
In 1782 Mathias Moser founded the Löwen-Pharmacy, then situated in the building opposite. It became famous under the founder’s son, who had invented the gas light in the pharmacy’s cellar. In 1816 the first house in Vienna shone here in the light of gas lighting, the Emperor himself came to visit.
Moser also had a good sense for the arts: as shop signs he commissioned Ferdinand Waldmüller to produce four life-size paintings. Today, the works are in the collection of the Belvedere, replicas of which are exposed in the pharmacy.
Most passengers of line 13A probably know the shop with its great 1950s portal and the golden sign only from passing by. It would be worthwhile to take a look, as it is Vienna’s only “cabin salon”. Owner Christine Endres comes from an ancient dynasty of hairdressers and therefore has many anecdotes to tell.
1070, Burggasse 29:
Alte Bäckerei †
The detailed lettering of the corner bar at the foot of Spittelberg shows the range of goods on offer at the turn of the century. “Tasty whey bread, real grain bread and the speciality potato bread” are advertised there along with “flour and semolina from the most renowned steam mills”.
In terms of craftsmanship, the portal is one of the most extraordinary sign painting works in the town. Mother-of-pearl inlays, shiny and matte gold, refined typography: the old bakery pulled out all the stops. Unfortunately it was pasted over in the summer of 2018.
The path leads us further to a highlight of the walk:
The former piano factory Rudof Stelzhammer in Barnabitengasse 8.
Above the entrance of the former Stelzhammer piano factory, Vienna’s biggest spelling mistake is conspicuously displayed: The Stelzhammer family, who produced pianos there since 1900, spells itself with two “m”. Apparently the sign painter overlooked this and consequently misspelled the name on the two signs in the entrance.
Another charming feature of this gilding:
When light is favourable, it will reflect the words “Rudof Stelzhamer” on the cobblestones of Barnabitengasse.
1010, Bräunerstraße 4-6:
Schuhmacher R. Scheer und Söhne
The Scheer family has been producing the finest custom-made shoes for seven generations. The portal with the richly illustrated gold coat of arms has remained unchanged since 1878 – the family had just become shoemakers to the royal court.
Only two streets away, in Spiegelgasse 3, there is a completely gold-plated portal. The noble banking house Pinschof & Co had the entire façade gilded.
At the end of the walk we visit the enormous sign of
„Carl Siegl Sen. K.K. Priv. Leinen und Tischzeug Fabrik“
Carl Siegl (1802–1889) was one of the largest textile entrepreneurs in Märisch-Schönberg. He founded the company with his sons Robert and Richard, the money was brought in by his wife, daughter of one of the oldest manufacturing entrepreneurs in town. After his death his sons took over, the factory had 1200 employees at the turn of the century.
Photos Janes Walk © Andreas Lindinger, Stelzhammer reflection © Daniel Gerersdorfer