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Old Masters, Jacques Callot, Dwarfs, 6 Antique Prints, Augsburg, 1720


Joost van Sasse (act. 1716-1736), P. van Buysen, Andries van Buysen the elder (act. 1707-1745), et al. (after)
Elias Baeck (1649-1747) (engraver)
[Dwarf Caricatures]
Plates 13 through 18

from Il Callotto resuscitato, oder, Neü eingerichtes Zwerchen Cabinet
[Callot Resurrected, or the Newly Furnished Cabinet of Dwarfs]

Augsburg: c. 1720
Engravings, uncolored
10.75 x 7 inches each, overall
$3,600 set of 6

A group of six caricatures of dwarf men and women from a larger set of 50 images. The characters appear in the elaborate dress and hairstyles of early Baroque Europe and show the trades and scenes of daily life of that period. They are from a German edition, titled (as translated to English) Callot Resurrected, or the Newly Furnished Cabinet of Dwarfs. Each engraving is accompanied below the image by a comic verse in German about the character depicted and is surrounded by an elaborate ornamental Mannerist strapwork border entwined with small figures of people and animals. This influential work apparently served as source material for the design of 18th century continental ceramics, such as the one for Plate 14 in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (see References below).

Product description continues below.


The collection’s title invokes the legacy of French artist Jacques Callot (1592-1635), considered among the foremost printmakers in the Western tradition and very influential on later generations. His subjects were wide ranging, including genre series of figures in different costumes and poses, sometimes referred to as “grotesques” for the hunchbacks, beggars and marginal members of society depicted. These series include the Caprices, the Fantasies and Italian Vagabonds.

Il Callotto appeared first in Amsterdam in 1716 in a multilingual edition in German, French and Dutch printed by Wilhelm Engelbert Koning, with different border designs and signed plates. The plates offered here, from the Augsburg edition, are unsigned, bearing only the Imperial privilege.

Joost van Sasse was a Dutch engraver and cartographer in Amsterdam.

Andries van Buysen and P. van Buysen were Dutch engravers active in Amsterdam. They were probably brothers.

Elias Baeck (also called Heldenmuth) was a German painter and etcher in Augsburg. He studied art in Rome and came to Venice in 1705. Subsequently he lived Laibach, and finally settled in Augsburg. He painted and engraved portraits, landscapes and historical subjects such as battles and coronations.

Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified, with minor remaining toning and wear. Margins a bit short — cut within the plate mark and slightly irregular — apparently typical for this work and still handsome for display, particularly as they may be floated when framed.


Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 1, p. 335 (Baeck); Vol. 2, pp. 231 (van Buysen); Vol. 2, pp. 263-264 (Callot); Vol. 7, p. 531 (van Sasse).

“Dwarf as a Turkish Pasha.” Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2000-2019. (17 July 2019).

Hind, Arthur M. A History of Etching and Engraving from the 15th Century to the Year 1914. London: Constable and Co., 1927. pp. 158-160.

“Il Callotto resuscitato, oder, Neu eingerichtes Zwerchen Cabinet.” Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. 2012. (21 June 2016).

“Jacques Callot.” International Fine Print Dealers Association. (22 March 2005).

“Lot 18: Callotto Resuscitato.” 10 December 2010. Sotheby’s.