ABRAHAM (ABRAM), JACOB:
By: Herman Rosenthal
German medalist and lapidary; born at Strelitz in 1723; died at Berlin, June 17, 1800. He learned the art of engraving from a workman in the Polish town of Lissa. For nearly half a century he worked in the royal mints of Stettin (1752), Königsberg (1757), and Berlin. He began his career as a heraldic engraver, and although he could neither design nor model, he brought his art to a surprising state of perfection
The more noteworthy of his medals are those that commemorate the victories of Frederick the Great during the Seven Years' War, such as the one commemorating the victory at Torgau, in 1760, cut from Ramler's model and Meil's design. In addition may be mentioned the medal containing the effigy of Prince Potemkin and the fortress of Otchakov: "Otschakovia Expugnata"; and that struck in commemoration of the Jubilee festival of the French community in Berlin, June 10, 1772, from the design of D. Chodowiecki. Another of his successful medals was one representing Sigmund van der Heyde, the defender of Kolberg, 1760.
Jacob Abraham was reputed the foremost medalist of his time in Germany, and his three sons, of whom Abraham and Jacob are known, inherited his talent (see Abrahamson, Abraham). The similarity of the names has led to the confusion of father and son by historians.
- Füssli, Künstlerlexikon, 2d edition, part ii. 2, Zürich, 1806;
- Schlickeysen, Erklärungen der Abkürzungen auf Münzen, 1857, p. 144;
- Julius Meyer, Allg. Künstlerlexikon, i. 32, Leipsic, 1872.