Friday, February 23, 2018

Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Copperplate Engravings

With so many people tracing their roots today it is no wonder how popular 16th and 17th century copperplate engravings have become.  These antique engraving of cities , and depictions of of everyday life, give us a glimpse into the past.  I have become so excited to discover one of the most prolific engravers of all time and have acquired  a large collection of his work.   



Matthäus Merian

Matthäus Merian der Ältere (or “Matthew”, “the Elder”, (September 1593-19 June 1650) was a Swiss born engraver who worked in Frankfurt for most of his career, where he also ran a publishing house.  He was a member of the patrician Basel Merian family.  Born in Basel, Merian learned the art of copperplate engraving in Zürich.  He then worked and studied in Strasbourg, Nancy, and Paris, before returning to Basel in 1615. The following year he moved to Frankfurt Germany, where he worked for the publisher Johan Theodor de Bry, who was the son of renowned engraver and traveler Theodor de Bry.




In 1617, Marian married Maria Magdalena de Bry, a daughter of the publisher, and was for a time associated with the de Bry publishing house.  In 1620 they moved back to Basel, but three years later returned to Frankfurt. they had four daughters and three sons, including Matthäus Merian the Younger. Maria Magdalena de Bry died in 1645 and the following year Matthäus married Johanna Catharina Hein. Five years later Matthäus died, leaving his wife with two small children, Anna Maria Sibylla Merian (Born 1647) who later became a pioneering naturalist and illustrator, and a son Maximilian , who died before his third birthday.
In 1623 Merian took over the publishing house of his father-in-law after de Bry’s death.  In 1626 he became a citizen of Frankfurt and could henceforth work as an independent publisher. He spent most of his working life in Frankfurt.
Early in his life, he had created detailed town plans in his unique style, e.g. a plan of Basel (1615) and a plan of Paris (1615).  With Martin Zeiler (1589-1661), a German geographer, and later (circa 1640) with his own son, Matthäus Merian the Younger (1621-1687), he produced a series of Topography.  The 21 volume set was collectively known as the Topographia Germaniae. It includes numerous plans and views, as well as maps of most countries and a World Map. It was such a popular work that it was re-issued in many editions. He also took over and completed the later parts and editions of the Grand Voyages and Petits Voyages, originally started by de Bry in 1590. 


Merian’s work inspired the Suecia Antiqua et Hodierna by Erik Dahlberg.  The German travel magazine Merian is named after him. He was also noted for the finesse of his alchemical illustrations, in books such as the Musaeum Hermeticum (1677) and Atalanta Fugiens (1618). 
Matthäus Merian died after several years of illness in 1650 in Langenschwalbach, near Wiesbaden.  After hs death, his sons Matthäus Jr. and Caspar took over the publishing house.  They continued publishing the Topographia Germaniae and the Theatrum Europaeum under the name Merian Erben (i.e. Merian Heirs). 



My Collection

I have acquired a large collection of etchings through various German antique book dealers and from flea market finds in Germany . I have 42 copperplate engravings of German towns and cities mostly by Matthäus Merian.  I also have a collection of 10 large maps.   I also have a 55 piece collection of towns and cities of Switzerland also by Merian.  I also have 3 prized etchings of Heidelberg, one of which measures 20 X 40 inches and is annotated with numbered points of interest.  I am happy to share my collection and have quality 16x20 prints availabe for sale.   I also offer a rare 20 X40 Print of Heidelberg for sale .

German Towns and Cities 

Aachen
Augsburg
Berlin
Bonn
Braunschweig
Bremen
Breslau
Danzig
Dortmund
Dresden
Düsseldorf
Essen
Frank/Main
Frankfurt/Oder
Freiburg
Göttingen
Halle
Hamburg
hannover
Heidelberg
Kassel
Koblenz
Köln
Königsberg
Konstanz
Leipzig
Lübeck
Magdeburg
Mainz
München
Nürnberg
Regensburg
Rothenburg o.d. T.
Speyer
Stettin
Stuttgart
Trier
Tübingen
Ulm
Weimar
Worms
Würzburg
  

 

 Annotated Points of Interest
22.  Collegium Casimirianum 
23.  Hexenthurm
24.  Augustinerkloster (Sapienz)
28.  St Peterskirche


19.  Mantelthurm
20.  Churfürstlicher Marstall


30.  St.Annenkirchhof
32.  Exerzierplatz
33.  Speyerer Thor
34.  Dominikanerkirche




27.  Turm mit Brückenaffe


18.  Zehnthaus
26.  Juristisches und Medizinisches Auditorium


11.  Heiliggeistkirche
26.  Juristisches und Medizinisches Auditorium 


1.  Schloss
2.  Friedrichsbau
3.  Dicker Turm
4.  Zeughaus
5.  Ballspielhaus
6.  Gross-Fass-Gebæude


13.  Oberes Stadtthor
14.  St. Jacob


Swiss Towns and Cities


 The following Swiss towns and cities in my collection are also works by Matthäus Merian . I have these available for reprint as well. 
Aarau
Aarberg
Aarburg
Altdorf
Andelfingen
Appenzell
Baden
Basel
Bellinzona
Bern
Beromünster
Biel
Bienne
Bremgarten
Brig
Brugg
Chur
Einsiedeln
Engelberg
Frauenfeld
Freiburg
Fribourg
Genf
Genève
Glarus
Grüningen
Habsburg
Herisau
Kyburg
Lausanne
Lenzburg
Liestal
Lugano
Luzern
Neuenburg
Neuchâtel
Oron-le-Châtel
Rapperswil
Regensberg
Romainmôtier
St. Gallen
St. Maurice
Schaffhausen
Schwyz
Sitten
Sion
Solothurn
Stein am Rhein
Thun
Waldenburg
Winterthur
Zürich
Zug
Zurzach
 

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