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Allegory, 12 Months of the Year, Antique Prints, Dehne, Germany, Early 18th C. (Sold)

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Johann Christoph Dehne (16??-1742) (artist and engraver)
12 Months of the Year
Nuremberg: 1st Half 18th century
Hand-colored copperplate engravings
Set of 12 Prints
8.5 x 5.5 inches plate mark
9 x 6 inches overall

Set of twelve richly colorful prints depicting the months of the year in which winged cherubs or farmers carry out seasonal agricultural tasks. Each image is set within an elaborate Baroque gold or floral frame style border and accompanied by a poem in German written in decorative calligraphy at the bottom. Each is labeled with the name of a month in Latin and corresponding zodiac symbol, and some are set within a larger architectural interior or landscape. These prints are apparently quite rare and it is unknown if they were separately issued. The Slovak National Gallery has an uncolored set of them in its collection.

Johann Christoph Dehne was a German engraver based in Leipzig. He engraved numerous portraits, especially for the work Icones Bibliopolarum et Typographorum, published in Nuremberg between 1726 and 1742. He also produced religious, mythological and allegorical subjects, and was one of the engravers for Johann Volckamer’s great botanical work Nurembergische Hesperides (Nuremberg: 1708 and 1714). Dehne’s engravings are in many museum collections, including the British Museum, the Ringling Museum, and the Slovak National Gallery.

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Januarius: Three cherubs rake grain being stored for the winter.

Februarius: Two cherubs tend a fire, bringing in freshly chopped wood.

Martius: A group of cherubs prepares trees for gathering sap.

Aprilis: A cherub guides an ox pulling a plow, readying a field for sowing.

Maius: Cherubs are shown tending to a formal gardens.

Junius: Three cherubs tend to a collection of beehives, ready to gather honey.

Julius: Two cherubs rake and cut grasses for use as hay

Augustus: Three cherubs harvest and gather wheat as four people carry it off in the background.

September: Three cherubs pick ripened fruits from the trees of an orchard.

October: Two cherubs gather grapes to prepare for wine making.

November: Four cherubs chop down large trees to make a clearing.

December: Three cherubs warm themselves around a fire they have built among newly felled trees.


Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 3, p. 122.

“Január. Johann Christoph Dehne.” Web Umenia. (19 January 2021).

“Johann Christoph Dehne.” Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek. (19 January 2021).

Additional information


18th Century