Printmaker's abbreviations

Geographus der Erdbeschreiker, ca. 1721. Engraving with hand coloring. Augsburg: Martin Engelbrecht. Gift of Nally-Wright. GC018

This German engraving is being moved in our database from "created by" Martin Engelbrecht (1684-1756) to "printed by" Engelbrecht. It is a good example of printer's abbreviations and useful they are in identifying the print.

In the lower left hand corner of the print is: "C. Priv. S.C. Maj." which is the privilege statement: "Cum Privilegio Sacrae Caesareae Majestatis" or with the privilege of the Holy Imperial Majesty or Holy Roman Empire. This privilege is not only the authorization to publish, but the imperial printing privilege gave copyright protection to the publisher for a time.

On the right, Englebrecht's name is printed with "excud. A.V." or excudit Augusta Vindelicorum; that is, published in Augsburg, Germany. Engelbrecht was both an artist and the owner of a large print publishing house in Augsburg, and many prints are wrongly attributed to him for this reason. Although no artist is identified on the print, it could have been engraved by Johann Georg Ringlin, who worked closely with the Engelbrecht firm.

Some other useful abbreviations seen on prints include:

A.P.: Artist's proof
B.A.T., Bon á tirer: Proof print approved by artist and ready to be handled over to the master printer
Cael., caelavit: Engraved by
Cum privilegio: Privilege to publish from some authority
Del., delt., delin., delineavit: Drawn by
Disig., designavit: Designed by
Divulg., divulgavit: Published by
Eng., engd.: Engraved by
Exc., excud., excudit: Printed by or published by
F., fac., fec., fect., fecit, faciebat: Made by
H.C., Hors Commerce: Not for commercial sale
Imp., Impressit: Printed by
Inc,. incidit, incidebat: Incised or engraved by
Inv., invenit, inventor: Designed by or originally drawn by
Lith., litho., lithog.: Lithographed by
Pins., pinxit: Painted by
Scrip., scripsit: Text engraved by
Sc., sculp., sculpt., sculpsit: Image engraved by