Kuno von Hardenberg

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Kuno Ferdinand Graf von Hardenberg at the age of 60 in 1931

Kuno Graf von Hardenberg (born August 13, 1871 in Nörten-Hardenberg ; † November 15, 1938 in Darmstadt ), born Kuno Ferdinand Edzard Ernst Carl Alexander von Hardenberg, was a German lawyer , art historian , painter , interior designer , museum director and writer and Grand Ducal Court Marshal of Hesse-Darmstadt .


He was the son of the Fideikommissherrren on Hardenberg , Karl Graf von Hardenberg (1827-1913), and his wife Gisella Countess von Christalnigg von und zu Gillitzstein (1840-1912).


The war diary of the XVIII. AK , 1918
The Disappeared , 1920
Kuno von Hardenberg's signature, 1930

Kuno Graf von Hardenberg, the one by the Prussian Reform Minister Carl August Fürst von Hardenberg and the Romantics Novalis (actually: Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg) was very well-known family name, studied in Darmstadt law and did his internship at the Higher Regional Court of Celle. During this time he was already interested in the fine arts.

He worked alongside Curt Abel-Musgrave , Karl von Arnswaldt , Carl Busse , Engelbert von Kerkering , Agnes Miegel , Carl Mönckeberg , Börries von Münchhausen , Levin Ludwig Schücking , Paul Viertel and others on the academic-literary Göttingen Muses-Almanac of lyrical poems, founded in 1896 , Ballads and short stories, the title of which should be reminiscent of the famous forerunner of the Göttingen Hainbund of the same name .

He did his military service as Rittmeister of the Reserve with the 2nd Grand Ducal Hessian Leib-Dragoons Regiment No. 24 in Darmstadt. He decided to take up a second degree at the Sorbonne in Paris, that of art. In the meantime he devoted himself to nude painting . The 29-year-old then began a trip around the world, starting on New Year's Day in 1901 from Munich Central Station via Italy and Egypt to Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and China to Japan. He published a detailed travel report about it.

He corresponded intensively with Sascha Schneider , with whom he had been friends since 1902, and also supported him financially. With Schneider he took part in artist meetings, z. B. with Karl May and his wife Klara at Wilhelm Kreis .

“How beautiful was the evening with Wilhelm Kreis. These dear, good people. How big and simple my Karl stood next to the witty Count Hardenberg. Everyone felt that Karl was above them, spiritually. "

- Klara May

Parts of his correspondence (letters and telegrams) with Max Behrend and Gerhart Hauptmann from the period between 1918 and 1937 have been preserved.

He worked as an artistic assistant in the expansion of the Tarasp Castle in Engadin , Switzerland , which had belonged to the Dresden industrialist Karl August Lingner . After Lingner's death, this fell to his friend, Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt . Kuno Graf von Hardenberg, released from service at the front during the First World War , but recorded as commander of the headquarters of the 25th Infantry Division , was entrusted with the organizational work for taking over the castle. From 1917 he was the last court marshal of the Grand Duke, who entrusted him with the inventory of his private collections in addition to his house and property management. With these collections, Kuno Graf von Hardenberg set up both the hunting museum opened in September 1918 at the Kranichstein hunting lodge and the residence and army museum opened in 1924 in the Darmstadt palace . He felt extremely connected to the House of Hesse and the Rhine .

On March 16, 1918, at the suggestion of the Grand Duke, he founded the Society of Hessian Book Friends . Similar to the Princely Ernst Ludwig Press , which had existed since 1907, this focused on publications that were supposed to meet the highest bibliophile standards, but deviating from this it was aimed at a broader readership. Under his leadership, the society became one of the largest bibliophile associations in Germany.

"Books in beautiful clothes - a festively dressed group of friends who can give us more than the most select company."

- Kuno Ferdinand Count von Hardenberg

Kuno Graf von Hardenberg was instrumental in founding the Society for Free Philosophy of Hermann Graf Keyserling , which he took over as chairman. He has written a wide variety of articles for art journals.

In the autumn of 1928, a robbery on his official apartment in Darmstadt's Neue Palais attracted public attention , which could never be fully investigated.

After 1931 Kuno Graf von Hardenberg was in contact with Erwin Rousselle , the director of the China Institute at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main .

In 1932 he described in his publication Rosenkranz und Bafomet that he had deciphered the Bafomet as the magic square of the Kabbalah . Through this book he was noticed by the Freemasons who list him to this day.

Kuno Graf von Hardenberg died at the age of 67 as a result of a serious traffic accident. His estate was auctioned on March 29 and 30, 1939. Letters and texts from the possession of Kuno Graf von Hardenberg are kept in the Hardenberg archive.


  • Edith Mikeleitis, Karl Klingspor : Count Kuno V. Hardenberg on his sixtieth birthday on August 13, 1931 . Offenbach am Main, [1931]. OCLC 1335614
  • Eva Rohde-Fenner: In Memoriam Kuno Graf von Hardenberg. Poems . Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1938. OCLC 72047010
  • Eckhart G. Franz : Count Kuno Hardenberg and the foundation of the hunting museum . In: Museum Schloss Kranichstein. Festschrift for the reopening . Darmstadt 1998.
  • Barbara Hauck: The secret of Count Hardenberg . In: Murder Cases. Crimes and deaths in old Darmstadt . Waldemar Kramer Verlag, Wiesbaden 2014. ISBN 978-3-8653-9708-9 , pp. 57–117.

Works (excerpt)

  • A trip around the world in 1901 . Hardenberg-Wilthen AG , Hardenberg o. J. (Reprint: ISBN 978-3-932313-32-5 )
  • Sascha Schneider at the Dresden art exhibition . In: German Art and Decoration , Issue 15, 1904/05, pp. 49–57. Offprint [1905] OCLC 918500781
  • Cyrill or: What Teutsche Treue can do . Tittel Nachf., Dresden [1905]. OCLC 600936832
  • Speculum virtutis or Female Virtue Mirror. Explanation of the ceiling carving in the bower of Tarasp Castle . Tarasp Castle Administration Publishing House [1910s] OCLC 600945312
  • as publisher: The war schaubuch des XVIII. AK on behalf of the General Command . A. Koch, Darmstadt 1918. OCLC 560177748
  • The Jagdschloß Kranichstein and the hunting painters of the Landgravial Court in Darmstadt . Guide to the castle and collections. Darmstadt 1918. OCLC 916365832
  • History of the Army Museum and some famous uniform skirts in the residential palace in Darmstadt . [around 1918]. OCLC 953674699
  • with Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hessen-Darmstadt: Easter. A mystery in 3 lifts . Wittich, Darmstadt 1919.
  • Origin, life and work of the high princely Hesse-Darmstadt upper cabinet and court meal, Johann Christian Fiedler according to old a. new sources . Schlapp, Darmstadt 1919. OCLC 313722633
  • with Georg Johann Köhler : The Disappeared. A strange story from India (= The Oriental Cabinet , Book 4). Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1920. OCLC 71949560
  • with Hans Bohn : Lono and Kaikilani. A Hawaiian legend. Told according to older sources . Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1920. OCLC 600945232
  • Guest book . Darmstadt [around 1920] OCLC 72482589
  • with Louis Kelterborn a . Paul Weber: Blessed is his fate. Choral for four-part mixed choir . Score [around 1920] OCLC 79799976
  • with Adolf Metus Schwindt: About dancing. A pleasant treatise, translated from Italian for the first time . Book printer association, Darmstadt 1920. OCLC 71949549
  • The story of the princess ( The Oriental Cabinet , Book 3). Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1920. OCLC 600937969
  • Dr. Nathan Epstein Jagitzer ( The Oriental Cabinet , Book 2). Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1922. OCLC 600945530
  • Amphitryon admonishes the cooks and musicians before the feast. First reprinted from the Rittelbusch fragments and as a bibliophile gift for the sequence of dishes . Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1922. OCLC 46305986
  • as editor: Valentin Wagner u. Julius Reinhard Dieterich : Little book of Der Niddaer Schweinshätz held in 1633 The lucid high-born prince and lord, Mr. Philippsen deß third, Landgrave of Hesse, Graven zu Catzenelnbogen, Dietz, Ziegenhayn and Nidda etc. Nicely outlined ... and first put in print . Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1922. OCLC 718854710
  • with Hermann Graf Keyserling a. Carl Happich : The occult . O. Reichl, Darmstadt 1923. OCLC 720993247
  • with Karl Esselborn : Ernst Elias Niebergall . His life and works . Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1923. OCLC 72504180
  • with AC Ray: Bengali Life. Notes of a young Bengal (= cultures of the earth, 2). Folkwang-Verlag, Darmstadt et al. 1923. OCLC 72689735
  • with Annelise Reichmann (Mitw.): Achmed, the most elegant of the people or what do we call electoral art . Society of Hessian Book Friends. H. Hohmann, Darmstadt 1924. OCLC 40826261
  • The cigarette case . Society of Hessian Book Friends. H. Hohmann, Darmstadt 1924.
  • The first cigarette . Presented to the Frankfurt bibliophiles on February 22, 1925 for Mocha by the Society of Hessian Book Friends. H. Hohmann, Darmstadt 1924. OCLC 71949565
  • Hans Holbein the Younger . Mayor Meyer zum Hasen's Madonna 1525–1925 . Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1925. OCLC 312855754
  • The novel of a famous picture. For the 400th birthday of the Holbein Madonna . 1925. Special print from Neckar-Rundschau , no. 30, (1925). OCLC 551115024
  • with Edmund Schilling : Karl Philipp Fohr . Life and works of a German romantic painter . Urban-Verlag, Freiburg im Breisgau 1925. OCLC 938803120
  • with Annelise Reichmann u. Sofie Gengnagel (Mitw.): Dance of Death . Society of Hessian Book Friends. H. Hohmann, Darmstadt 1925. OCLC 71949554
  • Hona. Tragic Opera [1926?] OCLC 560372803
  • Ludwig Volkmann . Dedicated to the 25th anniversary as the 1st head of the German Book Trade Association. (= Archive for book trade and commercial graphics, vol. 63, no. 1, special issue 1926). Verlag Deutscher Buchgewerbeverein, Leipzig 1926. OCLC 729323209
  • The sandal of the Nitagrit . Dedicated to women for the meeting of the Weimar Bibliophile Society on October 22nd to 25th, 1926 in Leipzig by the Society of Hessian Book Friends in Darmstadt 1926. OCLC 39902258
  • with Alexander Koch : The house of an art lover: House Alexander Koch, Darmstadt . A. Koch, Darmstadt 1926. OCLC 4687916
  • Trinacrius and Priscilla. A legend from Lake Tarasper . Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1926.
  • Potato Fire Poetry. From the memories of an editor . Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1926. OCLC 71949535
  • with Alexander Schneider: Sascha Schneider in memoriam . Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1929. OCLC 5589114
  • 200 years of Darmstadt art [4]. Kelsterbach porcelain 1761–1768. Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1930. OCLC 718779612
  • with Monroe Wheeler a. George L. McKay: Ignaz Wiemeler's latest bindings . A. Koch, Darmstadt 1931. OCLC 79732035
  • with Annelise Reichmann: Rosenkreuz and Bafomet. Trying to solve two old magic squares . Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1932. OCLC 643794480
  • Hessenland . Velhagen & Klasing, Bielefeld u. Leipzig 1934. OCLC 7698521
  • The Flea Collection of the Honorable Nathan Ch. Rothschild. A Rittelbuschiade from the author of the potato fire poetry . Society of Hessian Book Friends, Darmstadt 1935. OCLC 600937662
  • with Alexander Koch: living room, sitting areas and fireplaces . A. Koch, Stuttgart 1942. OCLC 162828967

Individual evidence

  1. Hardenberg, Kuno Graf von . In: Deutsche Biographie , on: deutsche-biographie.de
  2. ^ Kuno Ferdinand von Hardenberg . In: Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, on: deutsche-digitale-bibliothek.de
  3. ^ Kurt Adamy, Kristina Hübener: Nobility and state administration in Brandenburg in the 19th and 20th centuries. A historical comparison . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2015. ISBN 978-3-0500-7163-3 , p. 178.
  4. a b c d Hardenberg, Kuno Graf von. Hessian biography. In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).
  5. ^ A b Michael Schäfer: Kuno Graf von Hardenberg's "Journey around the Earth" . In: Göttinger Tageblatt , October 9, 2009, at: goettinger-tageblatt.de
  6. New German biography . Edited by the historical commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Volume 7 Grassauer – Hartmann, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1966, p. 651.
  7. Paul Viertel's estate, Dortmund State Archives, holdings 608, Nl.LE Schücking, No. 334.
  8. Gabriele von Radecki: Borries von Munchhausen , . Dissertation, Phil. Faculty of the University of Bonn, October 29, 1948.
  9. Beate E. Schücking (Ed.): "Your eyes over every verse I wrote". Börries von Münchhausen - Levin Ludwig Schücking, correspondence 1897–1945 . Igel-Verlag, Oldenburg 2001. ISBN 978-3-8962-1127-9 , pp. 9, 20.
  10. Muses-Almanach Göttingen Students , Verlag Lüder Horstmann, Göttingen 1898.
  11. Roland Dotzert (ed.), Peter Engels, Anke Leonhardt: Stadtlexikon Darmstadt . Edited by the Historical Association for Hesse. Theiss, Stuttgart 2006. ISBN 978-3-8062-1930-2 , p. 347.
  12. ^ Kuno Graf Hardenberg: A trip around the earth in 1901 . Hardenberg-Wilthen AG, Hardenberg o. J.
  13. Bernd-Ulrich Hergemöller, Nicolai Clarus: Mann für Mann: biographical lexicon on the history of love for friends and male-male sexuality in the German-speaking area , part 1, LIT-Verlag, Münster 2010. ISBN 978-3-6431-0693-3 , p. 1070 .
  14. Hans-Dieter Steinmetz u. Hartmut Vollmer: Correspondence with Sascha Schneider (= Karl May's collected works and letters, volume 93). Karl-May-Verlag , Bamberg and Radebeul 2009, ISBN 978-3-7802-0093-8 , p. 39.
  15. Klara May: Diary entry from October 17, 1903.
  16. ^ Letter from Kuno Ferdinand von Hardenberg to Max Behrend  . In: Theater Studies Collection, Institute for Media Culture and Theater, University of Cologne, on: staatsbibliothek-berlin.de
  17. ^ Correspondence Kuno Graf von Hardenberg / Gerhart Hauptmann . In: Berlin State Library, at: staatsbibliothek-berlin.de
  18. The War Look Book XVIII. AK, 1918 , Verlag Wolfahrtsgut des XIII. AK , Verlaganstalt Alexander Koch, Darmstadt 1918.
  19. a b c d Hardenberg, Kuno Graf von . In: Stadtlexikon Darmstadt , on: darmstadt-stadtlexikon.de
  20. ^ Society of Hessian Book Friends . In: Stadtlexikon Darmstadt , on: darmstadt-stadtlexikon.de
  21. Thomas Seng: Weltanschauung as a publishing task. Otto Reichl Verlag, 1909–1954. With a bibliography of the Otto Reichl publishers and the German Library . Reichl-Verlag, St. Goar 1994. ISBN 978-3-8766-7215-1 , pp. 222-223.
  22. ^ Letter from Darmstadt dated August 21, 1937 to Dr. Erwin Rousselle, China Institute in Frankfurt a. M .: “Dear friend! Thank you very much for the invitation to the 11th Annual General Meeting. Unfortunately it is not possible for me to come because I am going to Switzerland on 25th March. In a hurry, best regards, Count Kuno von Hardenberg ”.
  23. Manfred Müksch, Ferdinand Neundlinger: The Templars in Austria: In the footsteps of the secret masters of the Freemasons in Europe and the Habsburg hereditary lands . StudienVerlag, Innsbruck 2015. p. 60.
  24. ^ Art auction estate, Hofmarschall Kuno Graf von Hardenberg, Darmstadt. Auction: March 29-30, 1939 . In: Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, on: deutsche-digitale-bibliothek.de
  25. ^ Christiane Starck: Sascha Schneider: An artist of German symbolism . Tectum Wissenschaftsverlag, Marburg 2016. ISBN 978-3-8288-3805-5 , pp. 392–395.