Collection Online
The great Jewish bride
etching, engraving and drypoint
21.8 × 17.0 cm (image) 22.0 × 17.0 cm (sheet, trimmed within platemark)
Catalogue/s Raisonné
Bartsch 340; Hind 127 iv/iv; White & Boon 340 v/v; NHD 154 v/v
5th of 5 states
printed in ink l.l.: R / 1635
Accession Number
International Prints / International Prints and Drawings
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1933
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of the Joe White Bequest
Gallery location
Not on display


Watermark Form
The Serpent motif is an early watermark used by Italian, French and German papermakers, and the mark is sometimes referred to as wurm (worm). Papermakers during the rule of Bernabò Visconti (Dutchy of Milan), were perhaps inspired by his coat of arms depicting a serpent devouring a child, an emblem which was minted on coins in the region from ca. 1354. Prior to mid-fifteenth century papers marked with the Serpent were a thin paper and papier serpente is a term used in France today meaning a thin tissue or interleaving paper. The Serpent watermark is often seen entwined around a staff or caduceus. A single entwining snake references the staff of Asclepius, Greco-Roman god of medicine and two entwining snakes reference Hermes, Greek god of peace and protection. The caduceus symbol (with either one or two entwining snakes) is still used today to represent health and/or medicine, for example see the World Health Organisation's emblem. The Serpent watermark in this paper entwines a staff and shows a small house below. The house is similar to the motif found in the Basilisk watermark and is likely also paper from Basel made by the Heusler papermaking family.
Watermark and variant description
Serpent - varaint A. b. Small house with a large staff and entwined snake on the front.
Closely related watermark references
Churchill 519 (ND, Heusler of Basel); Heawood 3774 (1633, Middleberg (Zeeland, Western provinence of Netherlands)); Voorn (1599); Meder. 111 (after 1600).
Chain Line Interval
24.5-25 mm
Laid Line Frequency
Placement and spacing of wires
73 x ?[?|?] x 6
Wire Side
Radiograph taken from