Johannes Enschedé



Watercolour, red chalk and black ink on paper

36 x 47 cm

Celebration of Printing

This hugely important trompe l’oeil drawing marks the rise of the Enschedés: one of the most influential families in Dutch history. In 1703, Johannes’ brother Izaak registered with the Printers Guild in Haarlem and founded his printing company, which would grow to become the official printer of Dutch and foreign banknotes. Even today, the company is the certified Euro banknote printer for five EU countries and prints the stamps for more than sixty countries. 

As this work has been in the Enschedé family’s private collection since its creation nearly three centuries ago, it is the first time this exceptional art piece appears on the art market. The composition consists of 25 painstakingly calligraphed and drawn playing cards, drawings and early publications by the Royal Enschedé Company. It is a celebration of the family’s vision and productivity, and more generally of the printed word and image.

The final owner of this artwork was Maurits Enschedé (1926-2019), director of the company from 1963 until 1991. The composition is signed in the margins: “Jan Enschedé Jansz. fecit 1732”.




Johannes Enschedé (1679-1761), and thence passed down to the final director of the company Maurits Enschedé (1926-2019)