Gallery of prints for sale

Saturday 18 June 2022

François Basan’s engraving (with etching), “La Mort Aux Rats“, c1746, after Cornelis Visscher

François Basan (aka Pierre-François Basan) (1723–1797)

“La Mort Aux Rats“, c1746 (1738–1754), engraving with etching after, and in reverse to, Cornelis Visscher’s (1619/29–1662) famous engraving executed in c1660, published by François Basan in Paris.

Etching and engraving on laid paper with wide margins backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 53.5 x 41.1 cm: (plate) 38.4 x 32.9 cm; (image borderline) 35.6 x 30.6 cm.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “C. Vischer inv.”; (left of centre) “Si par un remede nouveau,/ J extirpois les rats du cerveau.”; (centre) “LA MORT AUX RATS/ A. Paris chés Basan Rue du Foin.“; (right of centre) “Combien de gens auroient besoin du Specifique,/ Et combien dans paris seroient de mes pratiques.”; (right) F. Basan Exc.”

IFF 116 (Basan) (Jean Adhémar & Jacques Lethève 1954, “Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale”, Paris, Département des Estampes, cat. no. 116).

The Philadelphia Museum of Art and BnF (Bibliothèque nationale de France) offer descriptions of this print:;

Condition: a well-printed impression (near faultless) with generously wide margins and laid upon a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. There is a stain on the pole the apprentice is holding and minor handling minor marks in the margin, otherwise the sheet is in a good condition with no tears, holes, folds, losses, abrasions or foxing.

I am selling this curiously interesting image originally composed around 1660 by Cornelis Visscher showing a rat-catcher and his apprentice seeking clients possibly from around Amsterdam and Leiden (based on the coat-of-arms of both cities shown on the box that the rat-catcher carries), for the total cost of AU$293 (currently US$203.22/EUR193.59/GBP166.16 at the time of this listing) 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 large engraving (with etching) offering an insight into how pest exterminators advertised their services in the 17th century—note how the rat-catcher engages the eye with live rats such as those on and in the cage held aloft by the apprentice and the rather cute one in the rat-catcher’s cloak peering at the cheese he holds and the dead rats festooned beneath the cage that the apprentice holds—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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