German School, Hamburg c.18th – Five Decorative Military Watercolours

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Each signed T. Ploghöft (Ploghöst), except the Nachtwächter which is inscribed (‘Dinnlet’? etc.) and dated 1786 (just right of the head of the figure). Pen and ink and watercolour on wove paper, all except the Artilleryman are unexamined out of their frames. These watercolours are to be sold in their unrestored state. All are presented in frames made in the second half of the 20th century.

Each frame measures: 11 3/4 x 8 3/8 in. (30 x 21.3 cm.)
Watercolours are approximately: 10 3/4 x 7 2/8 in. (27.3 x 18.4 cm.)


Titles (left to right):
Ein Hamburger Grenadier: – (A Hamburg Grenadier)
Ein Hamburger Artilleris: – (A Hamburg Artilleryman)
Ein Hamburger Dragoner: – (A Hamburg Dragoon)
Hamburger Nachtwächter u Prade: – (Hamburg Nightwatchman …)
Ein Hamburger Offizier u. Musqadier: – (A Hamburg Officer and Muskateer)

Condition: . The Artilleryman has been removed from its frame and examined. The paper is wove and has a black ink frame line around the border. Apart from the obvious acidic staining there are no tears, however when you look very closely at some of the others there are a few minor tears on the outer edges of some (but not overtly visible). With this one there is some writing in pencil with two dates, I think 1750 and 1790. As the paper is wove I tend to believe the dates are close to one of the other watercolours which is dated 1786 on the front. Wove paper was available in the mid 1700s but was not properly introduced until the later part of the 18th century. When you look closely at the staining there is a pattern of lines which matches the pattern of a wood grain. So the original frames had wood backings, hence the staining.


Unidentified / Unknown Artist