A wonderful series from Artern, the town where the Goethe name and Goethe's ancestors originated from. The reverse of these notes features depictions of famous scenes from Goethe's works. This is the complete series with the rare original envelope!
It was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who changed the spelling of the last name from Göthe to Goethe (with an eye toward an international audience), but here the original spelling is used, as Goethe's ancestors and relatives spelled it that way in Artern.
The front of the note advertises the town of Artern's connections to Goethe and the family name (my translation):
In Remembrance of Goethe's Ancestors
From Artern once came a young tailor,
Huffschmied's son, going to the Main [river],
So that in Frankfurt's old gates
Was the poet Goethe born.
From Weimar it sometimes drove him
To the site of his ancestors,
He then sat, without a doubt,
At the Gasthof zur Goldenen Krone [literally "Inn at the Golden Crown"].
In Hermann und Dorothea,
He found in Artern the idea;
And how the plot proceeds
You can see in Ramberg's pictures.
The text on the reverse of the envelope I've also translated:
Of the seven cities which believe themselves to have given the Prince of Poets inspiration for his epos, Artern holds a special place, because his ancestors worked here and he himself visited, and according to legend it also served as inspiration. With permission of the G. Groteschen Verlagsbuchhandlung in Berlin, the famous images of local places by Freiherr Arthur von Ramberg are reproduced here on these notes, which G. Grote offers as full-size images in Borkowsky's two Hermann und Dorothea editions: the 1913 school edition, and the 1921 gift edition. Our Goethe silhouette is miniaturized from an old original silhouette portrait.