Brahms, Johannes. (1833–1897)
"Happy New Year" - Signed Cabinet Photograph
Right-facing head and shoulders portrait cabinet photograph of the German composer and pianist shown in semi-profile in 1894, photograph by Rudolf Krziwanek, signed by the subject at the upper blank area of the image in dark brown ink, "Johannes Brahms" adding below "Prosit Neujahr!" ("Happy New Year!"). 5.4 x 8 inches [13.5 x 22 cm]. Small chip from upper right corner, and with significant but professionally repaired (glued and filled) cracks diagonally across the photograph and through the last name section upper right, and an additional crack, repaired to verso with archival tape, in the upper left corner. Despite obvious condition faults, the photograph is in stable condition and presents remarkably well in its fine archival matting and framing under UV plexiglass in a hand-gilted wooden frame, 12 x 15 inches (30.5 x 38 cm.) overall.
Brahms - though an autograph collector himself - disliked the notion of his signature being collected. He rarely signed photographs (and if so, usually on the verso), signed many letters with his initials only, and the present fully signed example is a rarity indeed.