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Prince Albert's Personal Papers

Papers relating to Prince Albert’s personal life and enthusiasms


Letter from Dr. Ernst Becker to Charles Ruland reporting on his discussions with Rudolph Weigel in Leipzig about the list of engravings sought for the Prince Consort's Raphael collection, and on engravings he has found in Berlin.

21 Mar 1861

Loose manuscript paper; mounted | 1 document (6 pages) (whole object) | RA VIC/ADDA10/85/481

Becker writes that he is ready to report on the results of his discussions with Weigel in Leipzig regarding the Prince Consort's Raphael collection. Weigel's first piece of advice is to get the list [of engraved works of which the Prince wishes to obtain copies] printed or copied out and distributed to the main dealers so that they can look out for items on it and avoid duplication of offers. Becker was sorry to find that Weigel has dispensed with his own stock as commercially unprofitable; he considers that auctions are the only places where anything worthwhile will be found. Some of the items on the list were completely unknown to Weigel, and he questioned the reliability of some of Passavant's information, which came from doubtful sources such as Heinecken or Tauriscus Euboeus, and gave Becker two examples relating to a flying angel [engraved by Baillie] and a wrong attribution to N. Vischer, who was a dealer and not an engraver. Weigel pointed out that engravings [after Raphael] by Audran (5 Muses) and Caylus (The Judgment of Paris; Faith and Charity) could be obtained in Paris and he offered to include them in his next order from there. Becker accepted this, although Ruland could obtain them direct himself, because Becker had taken up 6 hours of Weigel's time without placing any orders. Weigel made other comments on the list which threw light on various engravings and could be useful when examining auction catalogues; Becker lists some of these, relating to the engravers Hieronymus Cock, J. Bos, Pietro Facchetti, Maffei and E. Martin. In particular, he drew attention to engravings in Bartsch and in the Stockholm Gallery, as mentioned in Weigel's own Kunstcatalog, related to the picture of the Holy Family in Stockholm and to the drawing of the same subject at Windsor; the British Museum also has two engravings of it. Becker suggests that Ruland compare these various engravings. Becker goes on to point out a mistake in the list: 'Boydell La Vendangeuse' should read 'Chambers, Raphael's Mistress"'; Chambers was the engraver and the title appeared as such on the engraving. He will correct the misspellings he has spotted on the list himself as his copy will be coming back to Ruland. Becker adds that while visiting Weigel he saw the catalogue of the Caleografia Camerale and noticed that the two allegorical figures of 'Truth' and 'Spritual Power by Volpati Pestrini &c were missing although all the others were listed. He concludes that these two have not been engraved and should therefore be struck off the list. He also noticed that the list includes the outline engraving by Piroli after the last picture of the bathroom. But he had previously bought the whole work particularly for the sake of this very picture of which there is no other engraving. He asks why this one is now missing; it was certainly in the collection before and the 4 amorini in outline which are in the collection come from the same work. Finally Becker states that Weigel said he had sent Ruland a copy of Marc Antonio (Raimondi) No. 217 so Becker concludes that the collection still lacks the original in spite of Ruland's red [a wavy line follows presumably indicating that Ruland had crossed this item off the list in red]. He has been doing some research in Berlin and has found the following engravings: 1. No. 277 a picture by Giulio Romano in the Dresden Gallery engraved by A. Hofmann in Paris which is available for 4 thaler. The Facchetti engraving attributes the picture to Raphael which is no doubt why it is on the list. Becker asks whether the more recent engraving attributing it to Giulio Romano would be of interest. 2. Christ in the house of Simon: Becker has found an 18th C French engraving published anonymously in Paris by E. Gautret. It is not mentioned by Passavant and is available for 1 thaler. 3. A modern engraving entitled 'Nuptiae Meleagri & Atalantae' with a composition which Becker thinks Landon attributed to Raphael but
  • Creator(s)

    Dr Ernst Becker (1826-88)

    (writer) [21 March 1861]

    Ruland, Charles (addressee)

  • 1 document (6 pages) (whole object)