A tableau by “Jean Eve” or is it not?

In March 2015 I bought this tableau from a private seller, a very nice person.

Jean Eve: Stein am Rhein, Switzerland

It is signed and was thus attributed to ‘Jean Eve’ by the seller. It was told to the seller, when he acquired it, that it shows a town in the Val D’Oise département in France named La Roche Guyon.

I have seen (before and since this acquisition) quite some pictures painted by Jean Eve. This one seemed quite different. To my amateur eyes this is basically due to the use of much more colors in comparison to other pictures. Whereas the straight lines and the blurry trees/valleys are quite resembling.

The day after having received the tableau, I had the idea to see how this place looks today. No problem, I thought, with today’s technology: Google Maps and Google StreetView will bring you anywhere instantly.

The mentioned town is located on the Seine-river. When looking it up on a map however, I saw there is no bridge. Over time bridges can disappear, especially in places in France under German occupation during World War II and this picture could well be before that date. However, StreetView was even more conclusive: there is no slope in this town or at least not such a steep one. And no castle or fortress in the upper part.

My conclusion: this cannot be the right place. Maybe it is another nearby town or village. I started to look where there are bridges not far away. I found one and looking at the bridge with StreetView I realized the Seine river is much larger than the one on the tableau. Conclusion: this is not at all the right place.


To find out more I had to change my strategy and continue with the help of things visible on the tableau. I started with concentrating on the name of the hotel which is written with red ink on the biggest building close to the bridge. I was able to read the word “Hotel” quite easily, but the rest was much harder to decipher.

I started to read letter by letter: Hotel ‘B n e i t e t s’ was my first attempt, followed  ‘B y b u e r o l e t s’ . Using Google’s spell-correction I hoped to find miraculously the right name. It didn’t. And the more I changed the letters, the less the word made sense. The ‘n’ could have been a ‘u’. The two ‘t’s could be ‘l’s and ‘f’s. What is a ‘tefs’?

Then I had the idea to magnify the inscription with my camera taking a macro-picture. This was the key.

Jean Eve: Stein Am Rhein, Hotel Rheinfels

I now read B r e i n f e l s. Breinfels. In the meantime, due to Google’s geo-localisation-based suggestions I switched to duckduckgo.com and it corrected “hotel breinfels” to “Hotel Rheinfels”. Just looking at the first pictures it became clear: this is it. Hotel Rheinfels in Stein am Rhein in Switzerland. And not in France. First image was this page.

To be sure, I clicked on other links, among it a blog which was talking about Stein am Rhein and Hotel Rheinfels with lots of pictures one of it the fortress (Hohenklingen) up the hill. The silhouette of it was exactly the one in the tableau. Now I was sure about the place.


Image copyright: TravelsForFun – the Snyder family – see their blog: https://travelsforfun.wordpress.com/

Is the tableau authentic?

While at first I just wanted to see how the depicted place looks nowadays, having found out that the original description of the tableau is not correct, I need to make sure that the rest is authentic. Basically, this means to answer the following questions:

  1. When was it painted?
  2. Can the tableau authentically associated with Jean Eve?

These two questions are actually related. When I have some time, I will dig into it.


A Japy réveil pendulette restoration – decisions

Over Christmas 2013 I discussed the restoration with my father and we took, first, apart the clock and, second, some decisions:

The pieces.

The Japy Reveil taken apart for restoration.


  1. We won’t restore the paintings. They have some scratches and probably due to sun exposition on the back and one side the color is partially gone. We decided that this is likable.
  2. The whole in the clock face will be restored very simply. It can later be easily removed if we decide to have it done properly.
  3. The brass will be polished.
  4. The clockwork has to be cleaned and overhauled.
  5. The wooden case will we waxed.
  6. The too much widened nail and screw-holes will be stuffed again, so that the nails and screws will stay where they are.
  7. Some of the brass nails and screws have to replaced.
  8. The metal bottom-plate which was added to stabilize the case won’t be needed anymore.
  9. The broken handle will be fixed by inserting a small copper rod and a little bit of soldering.
  10. The broken foot will be fixed again by soldering (like all the other foots are fixed)

Here are some more images taken when my father had already started do some of the things mentioned above.

Before and after stuffing the whole in the clock face:

Some brass elements:

A Japy réveil pendulette restoration – Will it be possible?

My father likes to understand and can repair clockworks and loves the restoration of things made of wood – as a hobby. These talents are exactly what you need when you want to work on old, non-functional clocks that are most often inside wooden cases in not very good condition.

When being on Brocantes or Vide greniers I’m trying, from to time, to get some objects for him to work on. Or I’m looking for things which he explicitly asks for.

DSC_8058This time he asked me to look for a clockwork for a french regulator and I found one with the help of leboncoin.fr. This lead me to a very kind gentlemen (Merci, Patrice) who, in addition to the movement, sold me several other things related to clocks. We had I nice chat and when I was about to leave, he offered me a portable mechanic alarm clock from the late 19th century – a Japy-made.

He told me that he got it from a not-so-kind person which was selling it as in good condition while in fact it was not. For identification reasons, he gave me a link to another blog: Réveils pendulettes XIX avec réglage de l’heure de réveil sur le cadran).

When seeing this site, I was enchanted by the photos of the finely repaired, cleaned and restored clocks.

I was immediately attached and was thinking, how far can I could go to restore the one I got and make it a nice decoration object for myself?

Here are some more images of the current situation:

I, probably, won’t be able to do anything myself. I will soon discuss with my father to see what needs to be done, what is missing and what is possible from his point of view. Apart from all the mechanic-, metal- and woodwork to be done, I dream of having done a proper restoration of the painting.

Let’s see what going to happen – I intend to write more articles while the restoration (attempt) progresses.