Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Daniel Hopfer’s etching, “Ornament with Acanthus”, c.1505–36


Daniel Hopfer (1471–1536)
“Ornament with Acanthus” (Une plante d’acchante), c.1505–36, from the C. Wilhelm Silberberg (1802) edition

Etching on heavy wove paper (C. Wilhelm Silberberg [1802] edition) with margins laid on a conservator’s support sheet
Size: (sheet) 29.1 x 20.4 cm; (plate) 23.5 x 15.8 cm; (image borderline) 22.5 x 15.1 cm
Signed with monogram at lower centre: “D H”

TIB 17.93 (496) (Walter L Strauss & Robert A Koch [Eds.] 1981, “The Illustrated Bartsch”, vol. 17, p. 168); Bartsch VIII.496.93; Hollstein 104.I; Funck 137; Eyssen 97

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Ornament panel with thistle motifs; against cross-hatched background; two large birds in upper corners, another, smaller bird at lower left. Etching” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1520829&partId=1&searchText=hopfer&page=2)

Condition: richly inked, crisp impression with generous margins in excellent condition, laid onto a conservator’s sheet of fine washi paper.

I am selling this iron etching by the legendary Daniel Hopfer—the first artist to use etching for prints on paper—for the total cost of AU$184 (currently US$138.68/EUR127.42/GBP108.16 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this remarkably complex and very beautiful design from the Renaissance era, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


When I first saw the British Museum’s description of this print and read that the interwoven plant in the design was a thistle I was happy to have the plant identified. After all European plants are often different to those found in Australia. After consulting the catalogue raisonné volume on Hopfer in “The Illustrated Bartsch”, however, my joy dissipated as the title in this august reference showed that it was an acanthus. Mmm … this was a problem for me as my conception of the shape of an acanthus leaf was the rather broad leaf plant gracing Corinthian capitals on columns. After a quick Googling, I discovered the Acanthus Montanus (aka Bear's Breech or Mountain Thistle) that has the same fine shaped leaf as shown in this print. Conundrum solved!

Regarding the reprinting of Hopfer’s plates—mindful that this impression is a late one from the 19th century—TIB offers the following information:
“Many of the etched iron plates of the Hopfers survived their lifetimes and were reprinted much later. In the 17th century a Nuremberg publisher named David Funck numbered 230 of these plates and issued a volume entitled ‘Opera Hopferiana.’ In 1802 a publisher named C. Wilhelm Silberberg in Frankfurt-am-Main reissued 92 plates with the Funck numbers in a volume with he also entitled ‘Opera Hopferiana.’ The plates were printed on unnumbered pages of a heavy wove paper.” (Robert A Koch 1981, “Editor’s Note” in “The Illustrated Bartsch” vol. 17, [n.p. 7])





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