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Friday 5 August 2022

Gabriel Spitzel’s mezzotint, “The Taleteller”, c1730

Gabriel Spitzel (aka Gabriel Spizel) (1698–1760)

“The Taleteller”, c1730, plate 24 from a series of allegorical figures designed and published by Gabriel Spitzel in Augsburg (as inscribed in plate).

See a related colour mezzotint by Gabriel Spitzel, plate 6, “Woman with letter stating that she is cheating on her husband” (aka “Vrouw met brief waarin staat dat ze haar man bedriegt”) c1720, in the collection of the Rijksmuseum:

Mezzotint printed in Prussian blue on laid paper.

Note that as the artificially manufactured colour, Prussian blue, was made available to artists in 1724 (see this print must be one of the first etchings published in this vibrant colour.    

Size: (sheet) 27.5 x 20.9 cm; (plate) 23.4 x 18 cm; (image borderline) 21.9 x 18 cm.

Lettered and numbered in plate below the image borderline in a column of Latin and a column of German text: (left) “Os Semper garrit, quia multum di,,/ cere quærit,/ Hoc etenim nunumguam, crede, ta,, cere potest./ 24// …/ …/ …/ …/ Gabriel Spize. Inv. et exc. Aug Vind” ([transl.] “The mouth is always chattering, because it is asking for a lot of money”).

Nagler 7 (?) (G.K. Nagler (1847), “Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexicon oder Nachrichten von dem Leben und den Werken der Maler, Bildhauer, Kupferstecher, Formschneider, Lithographen: Sole, G.G.–Surugue, L”, vol. 17, pp. 167–68). Note that the reference number, "7", is based on the pencil notation from a previous collector shown verso on the sheet: “Nag VII”. The connection of this print with this reference number, however, is not clear to me [see]).

Condition: a richly inked and well-printed impression with small margins (1.5 to 2 cm). Beyond minor marks in the margin, the sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this rare and historically significant mezzotint—one of the first prints to be inked with the newly discovered and artificially manufactured colour, Prussian blue—for AU$322 (currently US$223.80/EUR218.71/GBP184.37 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 visually arresting mezzotint—my eyes see it as almost electrically charged! —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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