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[Paper Peepshow]


Inquiry € 3.600,00


[Augsburg, M. Engelbrecht, ca. 1750]. Seven oblong cardboard sheets (24.0 x 21.0 cm), with fine hand-colouring, including six with delicate cut-outs.

Additional information

Weight 125 g
Tax21% (VAT)
Weight125 grams

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Our descriptions are made with the utmost care and attention for details, we try to mention any defects we deem important to mention, it has to be understood that not every spot can be described and items over 100 years old tend to have some usual signs of wear that can be expected. Generally we find that we mention more of even the smaller defects than most other booksellers. If you have specific concerns about condition, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we are happy to explain or send additional images if needed.

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[Augsburg, M. Engelbrecht, ca. 1750]. Seven oblong cardboard sheets (24.0 x 21.0 cm), with fine hand-colouring, including six with delicate cut-outs.

The very unusual and rare subject of an 18th-century European (probably German) "Wunderkammer"-like pharmacy or apothecary shop, with stuffed animals hanging from the ceiling, reminiscent of engravings in the work of early naturalists such as Ole Wurm, Ferrante Imperato, Albertus Seba, and others. This peep box contains many peculiar items once thought to be of medical interest (several still are) but merely looking at them in this setting may have made one feel better. The presence of SEVEN cards is exceptional - similar peepshows usually have six cards. The size is exceptional too. Martin Engelbrecht (1684-1756), a native of Augsburg was the son of a colour merchant. He began his career as an artist by the attachment to a local publishing house but had by 1708 moved to Berlin where he was engaged in the designs after Eosander von Goethe of a the Silberbüfett im Ritterall at Berlin and of a porcelain cabinet in Charlottenberg. Returning to Augsburg he was involved in illustrating a wide variety of works after various artist mainly on subjects connected with the decorative arts. However in 1711 Engelbrecht was again in Berlin working at a fine art publishers with his older brother Christian Engelbrecht (1672-1735). They decided to start their own independent publishing house at Augsburg in 1719 where they produce a wide variety of graphic works. It was with peepshows Martin Engelbrecht excelled having the unique position of no other publishing house or place of publication to compete against him. Engelbrecht was kept busy with the many other special graphics and employed two artists, Jeremias Wachsmuth (1711-1771) and Johann David Nessenthaler (1717-1766), to produce designs for the peepshows. Wachsmuth’s work can be found as early as 1731, and those by Nessenthaler starting from 1737. With Martin Engelbrecht's death in 1756 the business continued to thrive under the management of Engelbrecht's daughters and sons-in-law, and continued on well into the nineteenth century. (Marlborough Rare Books Catalog, List XLV, 2009. pp. 33-34). However, the items - although most certainly from the late-early to mid-18th-century - are neither dated nor signed. Attribution to Engelbrecht is, therefore, only indicative. Regardless, the quality is certainly of the highest level. With very delicate cut-outs that have bravely withstood the ravages of times. Outer edges a bit worn; a few, near microscopical parts a bit frayed. It is utterly rare to see a seven cards peepshow of this size.

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