Gallery of prints for sale

Friday 3 April 2020

Jan Sadeler I’s engraving, “Tubal-Cain, Father of Blacksmiths”, 1583

Jan Sadeler I (aka Johannes Sadeler; Johann Sadeler) (1550–1600)

“Tubal-Cain, Father of Blacksmiths” (TIB title) (aka “Tubalcain in his Forge”), 1583, lifetime (first state) impression of plate 12 from the series, “The Story of the First Men” after a lost drawing by Maarten de Vos (aka Marten de Vos; Maerten de Vos) (1532–1603), published by Jan Sadeler I in Antwerp.

Engraving on laid paper trimmed with a thread margin around the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 19.6 x 25.8 cm; (image borderline) 18.4 x 25.6 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower centre) “GENES IIII”; (lower right of centre on footbridge) “Ioan: Sadl:/ inue: et scalps:”; (lower right corner) “M. de Vos figurauit.”
Lettered on plate below the image borderline in two columns of two lines: “Ipse Tubalcain …/ …// …/ … Noema.”
State 1 (of ii) lifetime impression before the addition of the number, “12”, below “inue: et scalps”.

TIB 7001. 028 S2 (Isabelle de Ramaix 1999, “The Illustrated Bartsch”, vol. 70, Part 1 [Supplement], New York, Abaris Books, p. 47, cat. no. .028 S1); Nagler 1835 1835–52 no. 19; Le Blanc, no. 39; Wurzbach, no. 8.12; Hollstein 1980, vol. 21, no. 28; Edquist, p. 8, no. 12b.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 12: Tubalcain in his forge. Landscape with Tubalcain forging a weapon under a shed at centre, tending a fire that burns with the aid of two bellows, his sister Naamah spinning yarn at right, a river with a small water-wheel at right and in the distance tethered logs float down the river, wide landscape with mountains in background; first state before numbers; after Maarten de Vos”

See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: well-printed and strong impression trimmed close to the image borderline on the top and sides and with the Latin text lines below the borderline. The sheet has age-toning appropriate to being a lifetime impression of considerable age, otherwise the sheet is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing) and is laid onto a support sheet of millennium quality washi paper.

I am selling this lifetime impression of a very beautiful engraving, showing the first blacksmith at his forge, by one of the most famous of the Flemish old masters for AU$370 (currently US$222.58/EUR206.13/GBP181.16 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this masterwork of engraving executed only 19 years after Michelangelo hung up his boots for the last time, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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