czwartek, 19 października 2017

Was Christian Tolkien (Senior) an antiques seller?

My hearty thanks to Prof. Adam Szarszewski for photocopying the Gdańsk documents and for his wise advise. Mr Szarszewski is a "Gandalf" of my research.

Who was Daniel Gottlieb's, Johann Benjamin's and Eleonora Renata's father? What was a profession of Christian Tolkien, husband of Anna Euphrosina, née Bergholtz (or Berkholtz). A furrier? Or maybe a shoemaker? No, I am very close to the conclusion that he was an antiquarian and antiques-dealer living at Holzmarkt no. 7 (= Silberhütte no. 7).

At the moment my theory is that Christian Tolkien living in Gdańsk in the eighteenth century left his business to his nephew, Christian Tolkien (1762-1821), Michael's son. And Christian's son, John Benjamin had a very similar business in London – in the last years of his life he was a "china and glass-seller" in Covent Garden.

Matthaeus Deisch, "View of Holzmarkt" (1761–1765)
From 1784 there exists an entry in a tax book from Gdańsk that Christian Tolkien was an antiques seller (see here). But which Christian? From the other sources we know that there lived two Christians Tolkien in Gdańsk in 1784: the old Christian Tolkien, a father of the "London Brothers" (who in 1784 was a godfather of a Friedrich Benjamin Tolkien in St Salvator - sea here) and the young Christian Tolkien (in 1784 he was 22), Michael's son. I suppose this entry is about the old Christian.
Christian Tolkien (1807/1808), an antiques seller
If Christian Tolkien and his family lived at 7 Holzmarkt the picture above (by Matthaeus Deisch from 1761-1765) shows the square they could see from their window!

The Tolkiens' house could look like this one (it is probably a house at 6 Silberhütte):


Buhse map of Gdańsk with Holzmarkt and Silberhütte
Another question is what in fact 7 Silberhütte (SN 130) and 7 Holzmarkt meant. Because I want to show you the Tolkien family house in Gdańsk (yes, indeed we know alread the houses of Christian's brother, Michael at Johannisgaße and II. Damm).

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