1721 Copper Engraving Portrait Louis VI Elector Palatine Wittelsbach EUM2


This is an original 1721 black and white copper engraving of "Ludovicus Churfürst und Pfaltz Graf beim Rhein." This is a portrait of Louis VI, Elector Palatine, an Elector from the Palatinate-Simmern branch of the House of Wittelsbach. He was the son of Frederick III, Elector Palatine and Marie of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. He favored Lutheranism over Calvinism and purged Calvinists from positions at the University of Heidelberg. The portrait is surrounded by a wonderful decorative motif featuring the Oldest Electoral Hat, signifying the subject as a Prince-Elector, or simply Elector, a member of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire. These individuals had the function of electing the Roman King or, from the middle of the sixteenth century onwards, directly electing the Holy Roman Emperor. The Oldest Electoral Hat gently rests upon velvet cloth at the top of the print, with the cloth cascading down the sides of the portrait. At the base of the frame is a decorative motto incorporating a botanical design. This piece is accompanied by the original German biographical text printed on a separate sheet and features a decorative drop cap; an exquisite vignette comprised of three figures seated within a landscape; and a tailpiece of three figures within an ornate botanical design, holding respectively an anchor, cross, and scepter.


This 290+ year old Item is rated Near Mint / Very Fine+. Light foxing and aging - top margin. No creases. No natural defects.No surface rub.No tears. No water damage. Please note: There is a plate impression bordering the image in this print and there is light offsetting from the facing page on the accompanying text print.

  • Product Type: Original Copper Engraving; Black / White
  • Grade: Near Mint / Very Fine+
  • Dimensions: Approximately 8.5 x 13.5 inches; 22 x 34 cm
  • Authentication: Serial-Numbered Certificate of Authenticity w/ Full Provenance
  • Protection: Packaged in a custom archival sleeve with an acid-free black board (great for display, gift-giving, and preservation)

Period Paper is pleased to offer an extremely rare and impressive early eighteenth century collection of biographies and portrait engravings and etchings, produced in Leipzig, Germany in 1721 and 1722. Included are notable monarchs, rulers, religious figures, and members of notable Houses throughout Europe, including several genealogical charts of dynastic lines, spanning the sixteenth to early eighteenth centuries. The collection is comprised of exquisitely engraved and etched copper portrait plates framed by varying decorative motifs, all engraved by Johann Friedrich Rosbach. Many of the portraits include separate biographical pieces ranging in length from a single paragraph to several pages for more notable European monarchs and emperors. If present, the accompanying text is in German and is composed of beautiful woodcut text, with most pages containing elegantly etched drop cap initials, head-and tail-pieces and vignettes. The superb, folio-sized stock upon which the collection is engraved and etched employed the latest advances in eighteenth century paper making and highlights the era's predilection for strong, lightly sized paper with a fine structure and smooth surface. The paper's characteristics are thus similar to Japanese Gampi, and the result is well-preserved and crisp images that exceptionally capture Rosbach's fluid and sharp line work. This collection represents a unique opportunity to collect a valuable part of European history stunningly composed and illustrated.

Keywords specific to this image: Costume, Thirty Years' War, Holy Roman Empire, Catholic Counter-Reformation, Catholic Reformation, Catholic Revival, Catholic Church, Neck Ruff, European Nobility, European Royalty, European History