Journeyman's Certificate

apprentice certificate3.jpg

Handwerkskundschaft. Wir dieser Zeit Geschwor[e]ne Vor und andere Meistere des Loebl. Handwerks derer Maurer, in der Kayserlichen .. (Bremen: Ernsting, 1791 [ink inscriptions 1798]. Engraved broadside. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2013- in process

A panoramic view of the city of Bremen tops this journeyman’s certificate. It is inscribed for twenty-five year old Johann Hingstmann (born 1773), who has completed his twelve year apprenticeship to reach the level of journeyman. Hingstmann now has the right to charge a fee for his own work. To reach the highest level of master craftsman, he will have to submit an example of his work to a particular guild for evaluation and hopefully, be admitted to the guild as a master.

The certificate is engraved by Daniel Albert (Albrecht) Ernsting (1749-1820), who was himself an apprentice to a Bremen printer. Ernsting then studied in Göttingen and Copenhagen before returning to Bremen and opening a shop. His name is found engraved on portraits, business cards, playing cards, and of course certificates.