Steatit-Statuette von Shou Lao

Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg


The Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg (Aschaffenburg Court Library) collection not only includes a collection of prints and drawings but also smaller artworks. This collection, which was rather unusual for libraries, came to the library in 1805 through Lothar Franz, the older brother of Elector Friedrich Carl Joseph von Erthal (ruled 1774-1802), as property of the Electorate. Lothar Franz von Erthal (1717-1805) was a knight of the Johanniter order and chief officer of his native town Lohr. He was elected to the electoral secret council and became "Obersthofmeister", First Minister of State and Conference and President of the Court in 1792. In 1803 Karl Theodor von Dalberg (1744-1817) appointed him governor of the principality of Aschaffenburg. Lothar Franz possessed a collection of paintings and engravings as well as his own library since about 1750. In addition to books, the collection also included art objects such as small sculptures, which gave it the character of a book and art cabinet. Lothar Franz bequeathed all three collections to the Electorate. In 1806/07, his collection of books with small artworks was fully integrated into the court library. The 'Inventarium of Art Objects ...' from 1807 lists 42 objects of art, including the statuette of Shou Lao, the god of Long Life in Chinese mythology, by an unknown artist. This contemporary and somewhat bizarre collector's item shows the enthusiasm for China at the time, which Baron Lothar Franz von Erthal had probably been grabbed by too. Datum: 2018


Karin L. Kuhn

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