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Old Masters, Engelbrecht, Falconer, Antique Print, Germany, 18th Century


Martin Engelbrecht (1684-1756) (artist and engraver)
Pugnax Praedamque Parans Falco/ Le Faucon Courageux et Chassant, Plate 4
[Falcon Preparing for the Hunt/ The Brave Hunting Falcon]
Augsburg: 2nd Quarter 18th Century
Hand-colored engraving with stippling
13.25 x 18.75 inches, overall
11.5 x 7.5 inches, plate mark

Falcon hunting scene showing a falconer and his assistant in the foreground with three birds, while behind them a group of onlookers point to the sky where another falcon is attacking a heron or egret midair. The falconer wears a three-cornered hat with a cockade, powdered wig, leather gloves and a sword strapped in a hilt at his hip. His assistant, whose plain clothing indicates a man of lower social status, kneels beside a low rail upon which two falcons wearing hoods and blinders perch, while handing the falconer a bird with blinders removed. Verses on the bottom in Latin and French marvel that the falcon, a fierce predator that can freely fly through the air, nonetheless obediently returns to the falconer and turns over its prey.

Product description continues below.


Martin Engelbrecht and his brother Christian were printsellers and engravers in Augsburg, Germany. Martin engraved some plates after Rugendas and other masters. His other works included illustrations for Ovid’s Metamorphoses, The War of Spanish Succession, and P. Decker’s Les Architectes Princiers, as well as other views, including 92 views of Venice. In about 1730, he created cards for miniature theaters depicting religious scenes or genre pictures of daily life that created a dimensional scene in one-point perspective when inserted into a peep box. Notably, he composed and etched a series of prints of workers and their dress, Assemblage Nouveau Des Manouvries Habilles, published at Augsburg, circa 1730. Some of his etchings of tradespeople and sportsmen are documentary or tell a story, with explanatory text or poems. Others are anthropomorphic inasmuch as the tradespeople are dressed by cleverly assembling respective trade objects that resemble clothing. Numerous examples of these are offered by George Glazer Gallery.

Publication credits: C. P. S. C. Maj. Numbered “4” upper left margin.

Verses in lower margin: 

Pugnax Praedamque Parans Falco.
Aeris in regno volitans et cespite terrae
Principibus callet Falco parare dapes;
Cui patet aura leuis prostratis suevit ovando
Hostibus ad notas ire redire manus.
Exemplum datur hic deprendere fortis iniquae,
Hunc labor exercet, commoda at alter habet.

Le Faucon Courageux et Chassant
Que les effets de l’affaitage
Sont tout-à-fait miraculeux!
Car le Faucon, Oiseau fier et fougueux,
Se revient mettre en esclavage
Au rappel de son Fauconier,
Après avoir attrapé son gibier.

[Translation of French verse:
How altogether miraculous
Are the results of these events!
Because the falcon, proud and fiery bird,
Becomes enslaved
At the reminder of his falconer,
After catching his game.]

Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified with the usual remaining light overall toning and wear.


Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 3, p. 582.

McNiff, Megan. “Early Home Entertainment: Engelbrecht’s Miniature Theaters.” Houghton Library Blog, Harvard University. 14 August 2015. (19 June 2018).

Williamson, George C., ed. Bryan’s Dictionary of Painters and Engravers. London: G. Bell and Sons: 1930. Vol. 2, pp. 128-129.

Additional information


18th Century