15 June 2012

An engraving of Charles Nicholas Weiss

I borrowed something precious from my great aunt on the weekend. She has in her possession an engraving of Charles Nicholas Weiss. I scanned it, and present it below.

The caption is "Charles N. Weiss. Engraved by F. McCabe from a Drawing by Charles Hayter. London"

Charles Hayter (1761-2 December 1835) was an English artist who specialised in portrait miniatures. He was appointed as a Professor of Perspective and Drawing to Princess Charlotte, daughter of King George IV.

There is very little information available on the engraver McCabe, however I believe he was also known as E.F. McCabe and worked in the 1820s. Two of his engravings are held by the British Museum.

If this engraving was done in the 1820s Weiss would have been about 30-something. The most obvious feature on his face is the hooked nose. Interestingly, my late great aunt, Weiss' great granddaughter, had the same shaped nose.

Edited on 16 June 2012 to add:
It suddenly occurred to me to ask my great aunt what she had known about the subject of the engraving. I rang her this morning and asked her. Her father had believed it was of his grandfather (correct). Family legend said that Charles Nicholas Weiss had gone through three fortunes in his lifetime (possibly correct - who knows?!), and her father was of the understanding that he was "pretty musical" (correct). So despite the family not really having any idea of the fame that Charles Nicholas Weiss had in his day for his flute playing, clearly a little information filtered through, down the generations. My great aunt said that they used to have it framed and hanging on the wall, and then it was put into an album. I'm glad she realised it was important enough to keep!


  1. Wow! Fancy seeing something like that in your family, let alone being permitted to borrow it to scan. I imagine you're pretty thrilled with it.

  2. I know Pauleen! My great aunt is very willing to pass on what information she has and let me borrow things because she's so pleased that someone is researching it all. She's finding it all very interesting, just like me!

  3. Welcome to GeneaBloggers! This truly is a treasure for you family! Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Thanks for dropping by Jana!