‘Ahasuerus holds out his golden sceptre to Esther’, etching on paper

‘Ahasuerus holds out his golden sceptre to Esther’, etching on paper

By Jacob de Wit (1695-1754) after the work of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640).



Etching made on laid paper titled  ‘Ahasuerus holds out his golden sceptre to Esther’, drawn by Jacob de Wit (1695-1754) after the work of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) and engraved by Jan Punt (1711-1779).

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)

Considered the most influential artist of the Flemish Baroque with extreme colors, smooth sensuality, emphasized movement and dramatic artistic scenes. Peter Paul Rubens’ paintings are a worldwide famous phenomenon. Born in Brabant, the southern part of the Netherlands (now modern-day Belgium) on the 28th of June 1577. Rubens worked mainly in Antwerp (Belgium) and was known by his huge variety of works. He was designer of cartoons, portraits, altarpieces, portraits and landscapes with classical, Christian, mythological and allegorical subjects. A list, made by Michael Jaffé counts 1403 pieces made by his hands, excluding all the countless pieces made by his own workshop in Antwerp.

Besides being an artist, he was also a classically educated humanist scholar, diplomat and writer, knighted by Charles I of England and Philip IV of Spain. He wrote a book with illustrations of the palaces in Genoa, which was published in 1622 as ‘Palazzi di Genova’. He even designed his own house and became an important art dealer connected to George Villiers, the first duke of Buckingham. It seems that Rubens had the biggest private art collection of Antwerp.

Rubens died after a very successful career from heart failure on the 30th of May 1640. To commemorate and honor Rubens, a burial chapel for the artist and his family was built in the Saint James’ Church in Antwerp. Construction on the chapel was completed in 1650 when the son of Rubens’ friend, the sculptor Johannes van Mildert (Cornelis van Mildert) delivered the altar stone. About 80 descendants from the Rubens family were interred in the same chapel in Antwerp.


The word after is often used in museums, art galleries and antique stores. The meaning is very simple, it is a copy of that specific artist’s work where the word ‘after’ is placed before or after the artist’s name. It is very important not to forget that the word ‘after’ has nothing to do with ‘faking’ the artist’s work.

An (unknown) artist can paint a copy of a famous work which is exhibited in a museum. This copy if not a fake, because the (unknown) artist is not claiming to be the original artist of the work. When the (unknown) artist wants to sell his own copy, the word ‘after’ is placed before or after the original artist’s work. Now, the work is not a fake, but a nicely made copy.

Using the word ‘after’ for copies has already been done for centuries. But there are different levels of ‘afters’. An ‘after’ can already be an ‘after’ when an (unknown) artist is copying in 2020 the work ‘The starry night’ by Van Gogh. The (unknown) artist is far removed from the original artist by time and association. A very high level of an ‘after’ is when the original artist is involved or approves the ‘after’. Even an original signature by the original artist can be placed on the ‘after’.

Even tough an ‘after’ is a copy, the value and quality can still be very high and ‘afters’ will stay highly collectible.


Etching is considered the most important technique for producing prints by old masters. It is a very traditional process discovered by Daniel Hopfer (1470 – 1536) in Germany. Daniel Hopfer already used the etching technique on combat clothing before applying it to make a print. A strong acid or pickling agent is used to cut metal surfaces (usually copper, zinc or steel). The metal plate is covered with a waxy soil which is resistant to acid. The artist then scratches his or her design into the metal with different types of etching needles. After a bath of acid or pickling agent, the scratched metal undergoes a redox reaction, leaving the drawing in the wax on the plate. Ink is poured over the plate and wiped off again to fill in the scratched areas. By then pressing the plate in paper, an etching is created.


‘Ahasuerus holds out his golden sceptre to Esther’, etching on paper


Additional information





Sold with frame

This item is sold including it's frame

Dimensions including frame

51.5 x 61.5 centimeters

Dimensions excluding frame

33.5 x 39 centimeters

Frame condition

This frame has been repurposed especially for this artwork. Taaffeite Collectibles tries in every way to protect the environment and advocates a 'reuse attitude' to leave a better world for our next generation. Consider this frame as a gift and please feel free to reframe the artwork to your own taste so that it fits into your interior or workplace. Traces of wear and tear visible.


Etching on paper


drawn by Jacob de Wit (1695-1754) after the work of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)


'Ahasuerus holds out his golden sceptre to Esther'




The Netherlands


18th century


Plate signed


Due to prolonged exposure to the elements, signs of aging are clearly visible. However, this contributes to a unique and characteristic presentation of this work.


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