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1721 Copper Engraving Portrait Philipp Christoph Von Sotern Archbishop EUM2
1721 Copper Engraving Portrait Philipp Christoph Von Sotern Archbishop EUM2

1721 Copper Engraving Portrait Philipp Christoph Von Sotern Archbishop EUM2

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This is an original 1721 black and white copper engraving of "Philippus Christophorus, Ertzbischoff zu Trier." This is a portrait of Philipp Christoph von Sötern, Prince-Bishop of Speyer from 1610 to 1652 and the Archbishop-Elector of Trier from 1623 to 1652. The cathedral chapter of the Cathedral of Trier elected Sštern Archbishop of Trier in 1623; his appointment was confirmed by Pope Urban VIII in 1624. As archbishop, Sštern was unpopular with the people of the Archbishopric of Trier, pursuing a rigid financial policy and appointing members of his family to high office. The people of Trier asked Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II for assistance, and in 1630, the Emperor sent Habsburg troops to occupy the Archbishopric. Sötern retook the Archbishopric in 1632 with the assistance of the French, but was imprisoned in Linz from 1635 to 1645 after Spanish Habsburg troops retook Trier. These events could explain why the decorative motif surrounding Sötern's portrait does not include the the Oldest Electoral Hat, but is instead comprised of a shell and botanical design at the top of the image with columns flanking the portrait. This piece is accompanied by the original German biographical text printed on a separate sheet and features a decorative drop cap; an exquisite vignette that incorporates the heraldic, two-headed Quarter Eagle and the Crown of the Austrian Empire; and a beautiful tailpiece of an ornate botanical design.


This 290+ year old Item is rated Near Mint / Very Fine+. Light foxing and aging - top. 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, Royalty