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  15.12.2018 Wetter Ostsee
The old cabinet of Tante Mitzi  E-mail

Many memories are preserved by Tante Mitzi’s 1736 old wooden cabinet, which has been with the Autischer’s family through life in Camporosso for 7 generations now. The “Tante Mitzi” was born as Maria Autischer on September 5th 1882, the second daughter of a family of 8 brothers and sisters: Carl and Filipp (twins), Filipp, Johann, Anna, Amalia and Alois. Only 2 sisters and 3 brothers survived the common childhood illness of those times.

 

The era in which TANTE MITZI’s family lived shows some similarities with today. The currency used at that time was the Gulden, which from 1848 had to be released from its association with the Silver standard, due to the severe state debt. The conversion rate for the precious metal was changed several times in an attempt to save the currency which at the time was the official tender from northern Germany to Venice. As of 1870 when large reserves of gold and silver were discovered in USA, the conversion of the Gulden into silver came to a definitive end.

 

The local recession reached its peak in 1873, causing the bankruptcy of many businesses in the region around Villach. However, it is worth noting that in Carinthia the construction of many railway lines were already finished by that time. In 1873 the Vienna-St.Veit-Villach line reached Tarvisio, and soon after extended to Udine. Many other railway projects were put on hold, such as the Villach-Salzburg line and the Karawanken tunnel, which were resumed 30 years later.

 

In February 1891 father Filipp passed away in the house no. 128 where the family was living. In the same year heavy rain caused severe flooding throughout the local Kanal valley. Tarvis, Malborgeth, Pontafel and Arnoldstein were heavily damaged. The city of Villach provided considerable help in the reconstruction efforts, and also give the valley communities financial aid.

 

On August 2nd 1892 a new gold standard currency was introduced in Austria, at a conversion rate of 2 Kronen = 1 Gulden. The economy, however, further deteriorated, and in 1898 the mother of Tante Mitzi had to move with the entire family into the house nr. 83, near where in 2008 the first Tante Mitzi Coffee shop was opened.

 

She purchased the house nr. 83 for 150 Gulden without the rights for collecting wood in the public forest, which the previous house-owner did sell in 1896, for a 20 years cash-advance. The house did keep the right to collect stones as building material from some public areas, and the right to bring 2 cows and sheep to certain public meadows. All these rights were clearly defined in the “Regulierugsakt” of 1872. The right for collecting wood for the house no. 83 should have resumed in 1916.

 

The following coins were kept in the old Tante Mitzi’s cabinet:

- 1 x „6 Kreuzer“ 1848 (silver coins only 1848 and 1849; 60 Kreuzer = 1 Gulden)

- 2 x “6 Kreuzer” 1849 (silver coins only 1848 and 1849; 60 Kreuzer = 1 Gulden)

- 1 x „1 Kreuzer“ 1859   

- 1 x „2 Heller“ 1894 (100 Heller = 1 Krone)

- 2 x “2 Heller” 1895 (100 Heller = 1 Krone)

- 1 x “1 Krone” 1899 (silver coin; 2 Krone = 1 Gulden)

The era of the Gulden came to a definitive end in 1899, starting from 1.1.1900 only the Krone was the legal tender in circulation in Austria.

 

The Tante Mitzti’s old cabinet collected further interesting objects and stories, spanning through 2 World Wars, 2 Nations, several Governments and law systems, different currencies and languages.