Thursday, 30 June 2011

Surfinia's !

This posting was updated 17th march 2012 with new information 
At first glance this looks like a fantastic and inveracious bouquet. Daring colors, very bright and fresh like the day they were printed. It came in a great frame and the print only in need of window cleaning and a new mat. (Getting the wrinckels due to the old mat gluying, out of the very thin and old Japan paper is very costly and it really doesn't bother me too much considering it's almost a century old.) 
The framers label on the back: ”Max Schmidt Bau und Bilder Glase” (building and picture glass) Bunzlau Schl. Bunzlau, now Bolaslawiec in Poland, then capital of lower Silesia, Schlesiën, until 1919 a province of Prussia. Near Dresden. A busy town crowded with shops and craftsmen, but I couldn't identify Max' shop in the old postcards of Bunzlau shopping streets.

Opening the frame revealed written instructions for (and by ?) glaser and framemaker Max Schmidt about the color of the mat and choice of frame: “gold und blau”. And a name, probably of the owner/commissioner: Kuhlendahl. The headmaster of Bunzlau Königliche Waisenhaus und Schulanhalt (Royal orphanage and School Institition) in the 1920 was named Kuhlendahl.
Identifying the flowers was a bit of a puzzle too. Under the old matting lower left was written something in old German. Finding the species and variety of flowers made the reading easier: Surfinia. As it happens a very perticular brand of Petunia: Roze Veine. Only two(!) pictures among the thousands of Petunia’s I found are Surfinia Roze Veine. An old, forgotten but spectacular variety ?
But what is the most important, I still haven’t been able deciphering the signature. Nor do I remember ever having seen similar work and colors. I need the help of readers.


  1. Hi Gerrie,
    While looking for something else, I stumbled on your post ref the red/white flowers.
    I would be pretty sure these are one of the single flowered varieties of Dahlia.
    You can see one fat green bud too which is so typical of Dahlias - I grow these in my garden.
    The exact variety may be lost to cultivation now but they are so very variable that some new ones are recreating the patterns - try Google for 'Dahlia variety Union Jack'to see what I mean.

    Surfinias are a small-flowered type of Petunia - but these don't have the central flower disc or the fat buds of Dahlias.

    Anyway, I thought you might like to know.

    All the best
    Shaun D'Arcy-Burt (again)

  2. Well well, you must be absolutely right Shaun, I will have to rewrite this posting now with the correct species of flowers. Thank you !