The Beautiful Town Idstein – Part 10 – Various Ornaments

One house had these three reliefs in plaster. The first one  and the third one are depictions of Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press. I do not know why, I have found no association between him and Idstein.

Some houses had some sort of coat of arms (more like coat of tools) carved into the woodwork. And one house had a cat climbing the wall which was unfortunately too high up for my puny phone camera to take a good look at.








The last atypical ornament was this faun, looking mournfully over a garden fence. I have no idea whether it is a modern addition or genuine antique, but it fitted the town nicely and did not stand out as inappropriate. Which does not prove anything.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.


  1. jazzlet says

    These are lovely Charly, that faun is splendid! But they raise so many questions! I’m not expecting you to know the answers ;)

    Is the second roundel of the griffon older than the two of Guttenberg? It doesn’t look as crisp and the style is rather different.

    Would the tools represent the trade of the inhabitants at some point?

    Just to start with.

  2. says

    *inventor of European movable type.

    Printing presses predated Gutenberg, and while movable type did too, it was in China and had not reached Europe by Gutenberg’s time.

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    The colour fits the plaster reliefs well. Concurring with jazzlet on the thoughtful/mournful faun.

    I’m a bit curious about the tools.

  4. voyager says

    The dates in the last Gutenberg relief are confusing. 1411-1417 …why only 6 years?

    I checked Wikipedia and apparently the Gutenberg’s were forced to move from Mainz after an uprising in 1411. Johannes Gutenberg would have been a young adolescent. It is thought they went to Strasbourg, but no-one is certain.
    Unfortunately, I now have more questions than when I started.

  5. rq says

    The faun is wonderful. I wonder what he’s pondering so seriously? I almost feel like he’s plotting a prank of some kind.
    The climbing cat, too, is an interesting idea.

Leave a Reply