Jagdbuch des Herzogs Johann Casimir von Sachsen-Coburg

These pictures come from the Jagdbuch des Herzogs Johann Casimir von Sachsen-Coburg (The Hunting Book of Duke Johann Casimir of Saxe Coburg), c. 1639-1646.  The paintings are attributed to Bayreuth painter Wolfgang Birckner (born c. 1580), and were done on foolscap-size sheets (about 19.5 x 10 inches).

Of the 39 original paintings, these 12 were selected for a modern calendar sometime in the past 50 years or so (no printing information is on the pictures).  I have copies of the 12 from this calendar.  I've numbered them 1 to 12 here, to correspond to January to December as arranged in the modern calendar, but I doubt they were so arranged in the original book.

A modern publication of all 39 illustrations was done in 1968 by historian Kurt Lindner ("Das Jüngere Jagdbuch Wolfgang Birkners." Edition Leipzig, 1968; Original-Leinenkassette mit 39 farbigen Faksimiletafeln des Originals aus dem Besitz der Landesbibliothek Gotha (um 1650), 4°-quer (53 x 32 cm) sowie einem 20-seitigem Begleitheft.), but I have yet to find a copy of this work.  Herr Lindner has also published other early hunting books in his series "Quellen zur Geschichte der Jagd".  (Thanks to Thomas Gloning for this information.)

Click on the title above to see the thumbnails.  Click on the thumbnails to see the big pictures.  I've scanned them at full size so that you will be able to see the fine details.  Each original picture takes up 3 scans.  I've left some overlap so you  can see how the pictures fit together.

I find it interesting to see women taking part in these hunts.  Also of interest are the very long cloth 'walls' used to funnel game into a smaller enclosure, and the horse-driven cart holding a haystack-sized hunting blind.

If anyone has any comments or would like to discuss these pictures, please email me.

The pictures are titled:

1 -   Setting out for the hunt.
2 -   Coursing behind red deer.
3 -   The boar hunt.
4 -   Digging for badgers.
5 -   Breaking off deer-stalking.
6 -   Battue on ducks.
7 -   Coursing behind wild boars.
8 -   Partridge shooting.
9 -   Hunting feast.
10 - Hounding red deer.
11 - Bear-baiting.
12 - Interior of hunting-seat of Duke Johann Casimir.

Note:  Some of the pictures are not for the faint-hearted.

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This page was last updated January 28, 2001.