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Peepshow depicting a library, by Martin Engelbrecht

 Item — Box: CLX-A-1591
Identifier: Coll-2048

Content Description

This is an eighteenth-century perspective view (also called "peepshow", or in the original German Guckkastendioramen) produced by German engraver and publisher Martin Engelbrecht. Printed on thin paper, from etched copper plates, and coloured in watercolour, it depicts a miniature contemporary library, complete with library users reading, discoursing, or simply admiring the shelves.
Martin Engelbrecht of Augsburg, Germany started creating these "miniature theatres" around 1730. He employed two artists, Jeremias Wachsmuth (1711-1771) and Johann David Nessenthaler (1717-1766), to produce designs for them. Typically five to eight cards would be inserted consecutively into a peepbox, which created a perspective image. His peepshows proved immensely popular - all the more so that he was the only publisher to produce them. They exist in three formats: approximately 180 × 220 mm, 90 × 140 mm, and 73 × 90 mm. The present item is an example of the smallest format, which is also the rarest.

Dates

  • 18th century

Creator

Condition Description

Printed on thin paper, from etched copper plates, and coloured in watercolour. 73 × 90 mm. No imprint information.

Professionally rehoused.

Conditions Governing Access

Open. Please contact the repository in advance.

Extent

1 item

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased in December 2020. Accession no. SC-Acc-2020-0113.

Condition Description

Printed on thin paper, from etched copper plates, and coloured in watercolour. 73 × 90 mm. No imprint information.

Professionally rehoused.

Processing Information

Catalogued in January 2022 by Aline Brodin, using information from the seller.
Title
Peepshow depicting a library, by Martin Engelbrecht, 18th century
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Contact:
Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379