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1721 Copper Engraving Portrait Christian II Elector Saxony Germany EUM2

1721 Copper Engraving Portrait Christian II Elector Saxony Germany EUM2

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This is an original 1721 black and white copper engraving of "Christianus II, Churfürst zu Sachsen." This is a portrait of Christian II, Elector of Saxony. He was the son of Christian I, Elector of Saxony and Sophie of Brandenburg. Christian II's refusal to join the Union of Auhausen deepened the division between Protestant German states during the build-up to the Thrity Years' War. 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 290+ year old Item is rated Very Fine +++. Light foxing and aging. 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.

  • Product Type: Original Copper Engraving; Black / White
  • Grade: 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