Joseph Baer

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Joseph Abraham Baer

Joseph Abraham Baer (born December 4, 1767 in Hanau ; † January 9, 1851 in Frankfurt am Main ) was a German antiquarian and bookseller and founder of the later antiquarian bookshop Joseph Baer & Co.


Joseph Abraham Baer was a son of the bookseller Abraham Baer from Hanau, who is mentioned several times as a buyer in the auction records of Goethe's father's library . In 1785 he moved from Hanau to Bockenheim near Frankfurt and opened an antiquarian bookshop in the defeat in the Frankfurt Dominican monastery . It was the first German antiquarian bookshop and had its formal headquarters in Bockenheim, Hanau , since Jews in the imperial city of Frankfurt were not allowed to become citizens and therefore were not allowed to set up a company. Through the mediation of influential customers, he was able to relocate his business to the better-located Steingasse in Frankfurt's eastern old town between Töngesgasse and Schnurgasse in 1792 .

In 1824 he passed the business on to his sons Bernhard Joseph (1799–1864), who became authorized signatory, Leopold Joseph (1805–1861) and Hermann Joseph (1811–1881). Bernhard Joseph became a citizen of Frankfurt on March 8, 1834 and was thus able to officially register the company "Joseph Baer - trading and shipping, combined with an antiquarian book store" on April 23, 1834. From this the company "Joseph Baer, ​​Antiquariat, Buch- und Kunsthandlung" emerged in 1836, in which his brothers became authorized signatories. In 1841 Leopold Joseph Baer took over the management of the company and expanded it into one of the leading antiquarian bookshops in Germany and Europe.

He was married to Hanna, geb. Hanau (1773-1843).


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  1. Portrait painting by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim.