Matthaus Merian the Elder (1593 - 1650) was a prominent and remarkable Swiss Master Engraver. Although he was born in Basel he spent most of his life studying and working in France and Germany. In 1623 after inheriting his father in laws publishing business he moved to Frankfort. It was here where he and later on his son Matthaus Merian the younger produced many very detailed town plans of mostly Swiss and German towns. This elaborate topographical and panoramic birds eye view of the city of Mainz in 1633 was gifted to a distant relative many years ago for, " a gift for the reason of retirement as some signatory gift and thanks for the services rendered to the city of Mainz ". This magnificent two-dimensional work of art displays many different patterns of cross hatching. The key on the plate is surrounded by a beautiful border with 36 of the cities churches listed inside. The scroll work, information, high level of microscopic detail and beautiful intaglio script are spellbinding. Signed by M. Merian in lower left corner. I have been informed that original printing plates are extremely rare since most plates were usually recycled. The copper plate has been permanently mounted to a 3/4" piece of painted wood and shows no signs of buckling. There is some signs verdigris as shown in photos. It measures 15 1/4" long and 5 1/2" wide. All serious inquires please get in touch with me before purchasing for it will take some time to retrieve item and work out specific arrangements. Enjoy the view!
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