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Friday 16 September 2022

August Gaber’s wood engraving, “Victorious Death”, 1848, after Alfred Rethel


August Gaber (1823 –1891)

“Victorious Death” (aka “Sechstes Blatt”; “Sixth Sheet: Death on Horseback Leaving the City as a Hero”), 1848, the sixth and final plate from the series, “Auch ein Todtentanz” (aka “This, too, is a Dance of Death”), showing scenes depicting the dance of death in the context of the German Revolutions of 1848-49, after drawings by Alfred Rethel (1816–1859) and following the intermediary design by Hugo Leopold Friedrich Heinrich Bürkner (aka Hugo Leopold Friedrich Heinrich Bürckner) (1818–1897), with verses by Robert Reinick (1805–1852), published in Leipzig by Georg Wigand (1818–1858).

Wood engraving printed in black with a buff tonal plate on wove paper, backed with a support sheet.

Size: (support sheet) 67.8 x 51.8 cm; (sheet) 51.8 x 38.2 cm; (image borderline) 45.6 x 37 cm.

Lettered above the image borderline: “Sechstes Blatt.”

Lettered within the image borderline: (lower right) “GABER SC.”

Lettered below the image borderline in nine columns of two lines: “Der sie geführt — es war der God! ... Der Held der rothen Republik.”

Adriani 99 (Gert Adriani 1956, “Alfred Rethel: Auch ein Totentanz: Todesdarstellungen von 1828 bis 1852”, Düsseldorf, p. 29, 99).

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print from the People's Edition of Augustus: (transl.) “Allegory of the Revolution in the German Lands of 1848: ‘Ein Totentanz aus dem Jahre 1848’" (

See also the description of the folio of engravings offered by the British Museum:

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper providing wide margins. There is a restored/supported tear in the upper margin along with handling marks, otherwise the sheet is in a very good condition with no significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this large engraving which is the final plate in a macabre series of prints presenting a nineteenth century twist to the famous “Dance of Death” allegory—here the skeletal personification of Death crowned with laurel leaves and holding a blank flag rides a horse that has lurched forward to lick the blood from a fallen insurgent during the German revolution of 1848/9—for the total cost of AU$224 (currently US$149.89/EUR150.19/GBP131.46 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 this visually arresting engraving, 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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