German-born artist and professor Paul Geissler (1881-1965) created these etchings in the 1950's, detailed studies of a pair of elderly vegetable street sellers. Two of his best-known works, they feature Gemüse Frau (The Vegetable Woman) and Gemüse Mann (The Vegetable Man). Both are hand colored and have the plate marks that denote an original etching, not a photocopy of one.
There are several notations in pencil in the lower margins. On the lower left of each etching, the title is written in German on the first line and is illegible to us. Below that is written: "Original radierung" (German for original etching). At lower right is the artist's signature "Prof Paul Geissler." The etching of the man is signed in the plate "Paul Geissler 1952" at the lower right, directly under the vegetables. The woman etching is signed "Paul Geissler" lower left in the plate beneath the single green leaf but is undated. Both plate signatures are faint and we were not able to photograph them.
The portrait of the woman shows her dressed in many layers of peasant clothing with a shawl, head scarf and apron. Her basket of vegetables is at her feet and she's holding a plate of them to offer passersby. The vegetable man is dressed in finer clothes; he's wearing a waistcoat and jacket with brass buttons and has a gold pocket watch and chain under his coat. He has a jaunty Tyrolean hat that is topped with a large feather.
The 3/4 inch wide wooden frames have a speckled silver finish; there's a narrow line of gold between the two silver ridges. The off-white mats are single cut and the pictures have glass covers. They were framed by Quarmby's in Lansing, Michigan, which was in business from 1951 to 1972. Their label on the back of each etching does not have a zip code, so they were framed pre-1963.
The framed size is 24 inches by 19 inches, with the image size 13 by 9. They each weigh 3 pounds, have new-looking dust paper and a good sturdy hanging wire on the back and are in excellent condition: no tears, no rippling or foxing, no stains.
We love these portraits; they are delicately drawn with pretty hand coloring, simply but elegantly framed and they evoke a bygone era. They look lovely together but can of course be hung separately and are great as centerpieces of a gallery wall.
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.