Christoph Weigel and others | A fine collection of mythological and biblical engravings, Augsburg, 1720–1750

Starting price
£ 3 000
Auction date Classic
28.11.2023 14:00 UTC +00:00
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Sotheby´s
Event location
United Kingdom, London
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ID 1076611
Lot 88 | Christoph Weigel and others | A fine collection of mythological and biblical engravings, Augsburg, 1720–1750
Christoph Weigel (and others, as below)

Biblia ectypa sive icones ex sacris bibliis veteris testamenti et novi. [bound with:] Martin Engelbrecht. A series of 28 engravings for a book on classical mythology [bound with:] A series of 27 mythological engravings [bound with:] [Christoph Weigel]. Sculptura historiarum & temporum memoratrix [bound with:] John Andr. Pfeffel. Monumenta mnemoneutica. Augsburg and Nuremberg: 1720-1750



5 works bound in one volume, folio (368 x 240 mm.), WITH MORE THAN 1,000 BAROQUE ENGRAVINGS of biblical or mythological subjects, as described below. Weigel “Biblia” and “Sculptura” with notations in an eighteenth-century French hand, including mysterious symbols of playing cards, late eighteenth-century marbled calf, spine gilt in compartments, one engraving cut out and missing and with three other engravings neatly replaced, occasional minor foxing or marginal smudging, joints and extremities a little dried and worn, boards a bit dried and abraded

This anthology of Baroque engravings contains works by three of the most distinguished German engravers and printmakers of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century.

Christoph Weigel (1654-1725) studied engraving in Augsburg and, after stints working in Vienna and Frankfurt, established a successful publishing house in Nuremberg, which his widow continued to operate after his death. His Biblia contains engraved title pages plus 831 (of 832) engravings of scenes from the Old and New Testaments, each with a Latin title above and German text beneath explaining the subject and giving the biblical citation. Weigel’s Sculptura contains 514 small engravings (each measuring 60 x 60mm. and printed 12 to a page) as well as five larger engravings. There is an interesting mixture of scenes from the Bible, classical mythology, and actual historical events arranged chronologically to form a pictorial history of the world. Both Weigel works feature intriguing annotations, marking certain engravings with a playing card symbol (heart, spade, club, or diamond) and letters or numbers. Some of the Bible illustrations also have handwritten descriptions of the scene, penned in French.

Martin Engelbrecht (1684-1756) was one of the most prolific engravers and printsellers in Augsburg at the close of the seventeenth century. Along with his brother Christian, Martin dominated the print trade, producing some of the finest engravings of his day. His portraits and landscape studies are outstanding, and his religious and allegorical engravings display a technical aptitude superior to many of his contemporaries. Here we have 28 of his engravings apparently done for a book on ancient history and classical mythology. There are also 27 engravings on four folding sheets with mythological subjects, done by an unknown artist.

The final work, by Johann Andreas Pfeffel (1674-1748), contains 24 full-page plates, each representing the events of a month in the years 1746 and 1747. Each features a large allegorical scene and a number of small medallions or cartouches depicting important incidents that took place that month. Latin and German text below each plate explains the contents. All of the plates in the volume are attractive, but this last group is most impressive, being characterized by exceptional artistic design and skill in execution. These artists established reputations for excellence beyond the works seen here—Pfeffel, for example, produced 750 large folio plates for the celebrated Physica Sacra.
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