Christoph Weigel the Elder (Bohemian > German, 1654–1725), was an engraver and publisher. He produced the Ständebuch, an album of occupations, in 1698 in Regensburg, Bavaria. This book featured over 200 engravings depicting various occupations, each accompanied by a poem that combined technical information with philosophy and aphorism.
The engravings were based on drawings made on location in the various workplaces, and were approved by the tradespeople themselves.
Christoph is loosely regarded as the artist and engraver of these plates, but he may have been assisted by Caspar Luyken, or Luiken, (Dutch, 1672–1708). Luyken had also published his own book of trades in Amsterdam, in 1694.
We don’t know how many years were spent drawing and engraving for the Ständebuch, so we would date the individual copper plates as “before1699.” The printing was done “circa 1698.”
Some copies of the Ständebuch were bound and trimmed with narrow margins, others with wider margins. Over the centuries, some of these books have been disbound, with individual engravings entering the print market. We have purchased single, disbound engravings from various antiquarians and auctions in Europe, thus our collection shows different margins and different degrees of age-toning.
Each print we offer is in very good condition for its age. The paper is not brittle or badly discolored. This reflects the tendency for quality paper made prior to the 19th century to hold up well.