Detail from Der Pfeiffenmacher (The Wind Instrument Maker) by Christoph Weigel, possibly after a design by Caspar Luyken, 1698. Dayton C. Miller Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.
possibly after a design by Caspar Luyken, or Luiken, engraver, 1672-1708
In this image, a woodwind instrument maker works in his studio. Facing right, he is seated at his workbench making an instrument. Other partially-made instruments are on his work table and his tools are hanging on the back wall. Among the instruments represented here are: a bassoon, shawm, curtal, cornetts, recorders, and oboes.
This engraving comes from a book of professions and trades that was published by Christoph Weigel in Regensburg in 1698. It was entitled Abbildung der gemein nützlichen Haupt Stände.... It includes plates and texts on the following occupations: lawyer, engineer, writer, notary, crossbow maker, apothecary, cantor, sail maker, artist, woodcut maker, bookbinder, trumpet maker, lute maker, printmaker, book dealer, wheelwright, smith, mirror maker, tanner, shoemaker, stone breaker, furrier, and others. The plate of the "pfeiffenmacher" or "wind instrument maker" faces page 236, and three pages of text in old German (pages 236, 237-238) describe this trade. The measurements of the image of the wind instrument maker in the 1698 book and those of the Miller print are identical, thus the Miller engraving must have been made from the same plate.
The identity of Christoph Weigel as the engraver of the Miller engraving is based on the invoice of Seuffer & Willi, dealers in antiquarian books and art in Munich, from whom Dr. Miller purchased this engraving in 1934. The invoice states: "Flute-maker. Inneres einer Werkstätte, in der ein Flute-maker beschäftigt ist. Kupferstich. Chr. Weigel fec. Regensburg 1698." The abbreviation "fec." refers to Weigel as the "maker" of this copper engraving. Weigel was indeed an engraver as well as a publisher.
However, the bibliographic entry for the Folger edition of the 1698 book of trades indicates that Caspar Luiken (1672-1708) was the illustrator. It may be that Luiken (also spelled Luyken) made this engraving, or Weigel may have engraved it after Luiken's design. A literal translation of the old German text at the top of this print is as follows: "The Wind Instrument Maker / He who practices charity is silent: he who takes proves himself loud." The six lines of verse beneath the image read: "Poverty is like pipes; / When it makes felt the breath of love, / When generosity arouses the fingers, / Its sound of thanks makes you rich with joy / By penetrating the clouds / And bringing blessings in return."
About the Artists
Christoph Weigel, engraver and print publisher, 1654-1725
Christoph Weigel, an engraver and publisher, was born in Redwig in Bohemia in 1654, and he died in Nuremburg in 1725, according to Bénézit. He is considered an artist of the Austrian school. Weigel lived and worked in many cities including Frankfurt, Vienna and Augsburg, but he settled in Nuremburg as an engraver and publisher. Among his subjects were Biblical scenes and he was also an engraver and publisher of mezzotint portraits. The mezzotint portraits date to the period from 1700 to 1725 and include King George I and John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough.
Caspar Luyken, or Luiken, engraver, 1672-1708
Caspar Luyken, or Luiken, was a Dutch artist who worked first in Amsterdam, and later in Nuremburg with Christoph Weigel. He was working in Vienna in 1703, but returned to Amsterdam in 1705. He created more than 1,100 engravings, some of which he did together with his father, Jan Luyken (1649-1712), a painter, draughtsman, engraver and poet, who was considered one of the finest engravers of his time. Jan and Caspar Luyken published, Het Menselyk Bedryf (Book of Trades), in 1694. It was also published in the same year with a slightly different title, Spiegel van 't menselyk Bedryf (Mirror of the book of trades). It contained one hundred engravings of different occupations. Each engraving carried the name of the profession with two lines of text above the image and a six-line poem beneath the image. Caspar engraved most of the prints after his father's drawings, but sometimes they worked together on the same plate, Caspar engraving the foreground, and Jan the background. This book of trades was enormously popular and it went through numerous reprintings until 1767. Even as late as 1822, the plates were reused. Other similar books appeared, some using the same designs as those by the Luykens, but with more trades added, such as Etwas für Alle... by Abraham à Sancta Clara, for which Weigel engraved the plates after designs by Caspar and Jan Luyken, and which was published in three volumes from 1699-1711.
- William Waterhouse, editor of The New Langwill Index, and Michael Wright, of the Imperial College London, via Robert Bigio, London, kindly offered information on some of the instruments shown in this image, June 2007. [back to article]
- Abbildung der gemein nützlichen Haupt Stände: von denen Regenten und ihren so in Friedens als Kriegs Zeiten zugeordneten Bedienten an, biss auf alle Künstler und Handwercker, nach jedes Ambts und Beruffs Verrichtungen, meist nach dem Leben gezeichnet und in Kupfer gebracht, auch nach dero Ursprung, Nutzbar und Denckwurdigkeiten, kurtz, doch grundlich beschrieben, und ganz neu an den Tag gelegt / von Christoff Weigel. Regensburg: [Christoff Weigel], gedruckt im Jahr Christi, 1698. Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC. Call number: 203-725q. [back to article]
- Original text, at the top: "Der Pfeiffenmacher / Wer Wolthat übet, schweige: Wer nimt, sich laut erzeige." [back to article]
- Original text, beneath the image: "Die Armut ist den Pfeiffen gleich; / Last sie den Liebes-Athem spühren, / Freygebigkeit, die Finger rühren / Ihr Danck-Schall macht euch Freudereich, / indem er durch die Wolcken dringet, / und Segen zur Vergeltung bringet." [back to article]
- The transcription from the old German and the translations are courtesy of Dr. David Morris, German Area Specialist, European Division, Library of Congress, 4 June 2007. [back to article]
- Five of these portraits are in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London, and images of them can be viewed online (search for Weigel). [back to article]
- Information on Caspar and Jan Luyken comes from the following two sources: 1) Bénézit; and 2) a Web site devoted to the work of Jan and Caspar Luyken which contains many of their engravings of different professions - apothecary, lawyer, baker, instrument maker, etc. -- from the 1694 edition of Het Menselyk Bedryf (Book of Trades). [back to article]