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This collection contains three items: the “die trial” of a seal made by Rudolph Laubenheimer for the 1893 Columbian Exposition (World’s Fair) in Chicago; Ernst Laubenheimer’s handwritten diary of an 1896 trip to Europe; and a carte de visite (photograph) of Ernst created at roughly the same time.

On June 20, 1896, Ernst and his father sailed from New York to Hamburg, Germany, on the S.S. Palatia. They traveled south through Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, then back to Germany, returning to New York on October 16.

The diary is a detailed record of prices, distances, and other logistics. It also gives insight into travel practices of the era (comparisons of hotels and hostels, private and public bathing facilities, etc.). Included is Ernst’s hand-drawn map of Central Europe, with colored lines which show the planned route and subsequent deviations. Interleaved are several loose or affixed pages of supplemental notes, maps, brochures, passenger lists, deck plans, ship’s stationery, and a color postcard.

The solid-lead die, which shows Christopher Columbus planting a flag in the New World, is a first-rate example of the elder Laubenheimer’s art and craft. It also exemplifies the heroic depiction of Columbus which was accepted as standard for many generations.

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Publication Date

March 2016


Laubenheimer, engraver, diary, die, carte de visite


History | Printmaking | United States History

Document Type

Finding Aid

MS-191: The Laubenheimer Collection