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Picture of the month

2024 7   Gerhart Bruckmann

I pause the bridge topic posts for this month.
Sad news has come.
One of our greatest left us on the 14th of June.
Assessing or discussing his academic and scientific achievements are far beyond this website's scope.I'd like to share something about the man behind the collection and the tons of designs he made.
His collection was over two tons (as he used to say), and was amazing in size and in variety.
He acquired the Reiffenstein collection for example. He said he was required to prove his Anker knowledge in order to become worthy of getting the opportunity to purchase the stones.
We will desperately miss him as he emerged as the motor of the Austrian Anker community after the Marterbauer / Reiffenstein / Hübl / etc. generation. He organized meetings, kept contact with many collectors.
I was very lucky to get into contact with him in 2009. We had a fruitful correspondence through the years. Waiting for his letters (written on a typewriter) taught me that valuable things can be in the mailbox aside from invoices one has to pay, or advertising newspapers that one uses for window cleaning.
He always was on top in Anker topics. He always was willing to help with information, stones, or putting people into contact with each other.
I met him after his active years. I never felt however, that he would have considered himself a bigger man because of his academic career or his ex-parliamentary status.
He always was a warm-hearted, chatting, enchanting person with an immensely wide culture and knowledge. He even impressed me that he knows a few Hungarian sentences and words (like "wine" and "I love you" ).
The meetings at Traiskirchen or at his home will be a life-long memory to all who were lucky to attend them.
My first impression about him was that I sent him a list of about 30-40 stones I was missing at that time. He invited me to Vienna, and he gave the missing stones into my hands in a little cardboard box. I asked him what should I pay for them. I will never forget his answer: do the same in forty years' time, when a young collector will be in need of stones. 
May he rest in peace.

(from left to right: Herbert Thaler, Gerhart Bruckmann, Jörn Kaniak, Monica Klebesits, centre: model of the Taj Mahal)