(OeStA, KA, ZSt HKR HR Bücher 2027, p. 1067)
Updated: 10 March 2017
The brothers Heß, born in Bamberg; for a long time they lived in Brussels, where especially the elder stood in high regard with the late Prince Charles of Lorraine whom he had to assist in the Prince's various hobbies. Since several years both brothers have settled in Vienna where they still reside. The actual object of their art consists of ivory, whereof especially the younger delivers pieces of incomprehensible smallness and delicacy; by then (1780) he was working on a box lid for the Russian Empress that shows a rural landscape with trees, a farmhouse, and a view on the water where one could see people, cattle and everything arranged and executed so splendidly that the incomprehensibly small is in no way inferior to the greatest in art. He also makes bracelets of this kind for ladies and rings for both sexes that currently are so very popular in Vienna that only few ladies and gentlemen don't wear them. Heß makes his trees and figures through a magnifying glass piece by piece and then pins them with glue into the ivory bottom one after the other. The background is always blue to make the beauty of his wooly incomparable trees even more discernible. His forgrounds he usually decorates with a bridge, Roman ruins or a country house. At the same time he knows how to set everything properly into action; at one place he engages a countrywoman in feeding her fowl and you see the oats fall from her hands: elsewhere a young man is standing in a tree, throwing an apple into the apron of a girl and you can actually see the apple's stem in his hand: at a third place a woman is drawing water from a well and in her hands one can see the ivory rope going across a wheel: here and there he puts a recumbent sheperd with his cattle, or assigns some other rural activity to his figures. [...] Heß is a completely singular genius and an enthusiast of this art which he is able to judge with deep understanding. The easiness of his work is incredible; I have been watching him many times for hours with amazement, how he produces one creature after the other with his delicate saw; one thinks to be able to imitate the man's work, only to finally leave him, indignant about the fact that nobody can learn anything from this man who certainly has no peer.
Dem verehrungswürdigsten Publikum den irrigen Wahn zu benehmen, daß mein nicht mehr lebender Bruder Paul Heß, der wahre Künstler in Graveur=Arbeiten aus Elfenbein gewesen wäre, fordert mich auf, hiermit öffentlich bekannt zu machen, daß ich diesem, nur den Verkehr meiner Arbeiten, in Rücksicht seiner Familie, übertragen hatte, zugleich aber auch anzuzeigen, daß von nun an bey mir selbst Bestellungen auf alle Gattungen von Graveur=Arbeiten aus Elfenbein, als: Figuren, Blumen, Opfer, Namen, kleine Landschaften u.s.w. für Kabinetstücke, Schliessen, Medaillons, Dosen und Ringe können gemacht werden.
To relieve the honorable public of the mistaken illusion that my deceased brother was the true artist of the ivory engravings, I see myself obliged to publicly declare that out of consideration for his family I had merely assigned him with the distribution of my work. At the same time I herewith announce that from now on orders can be made with me personally for all kind of engravings from ivory, i.e. figures, flowers, votiv pictures, names, small landscapes etc. for cabinet pieces, clasps, medallions, boxes and rings.
It is herewith certified by the Pension Society of Visual Artists in Vienna that Paul Heß is a well-known artist in carving small figures, especially of ivory and that he belongs to the class of visual artists.
Owing to the unfortunate revolutions and the lengthy war the livelihood of the undersigned, which made good progress based on the shipment of small ivory works to foreign countries, has been cut back to such an extent that he is unable to raise the necessary deposit for the membership in the aforesaid institution.
Heß, Paul Graveur von N° 14 in der Josephstadt, welcher in der Donau ertrunken gefunden und im Allgemeinen Krankenhaus gerichtl[ich] besch[au]t worden, alt 54 J[ah]r.
d[en] 7t[en] Jänner  / Tit[ulo] H[err] Adam \List/ Rechnungs= / führer beÿm Fürst / Esterhazy zu Raiding / in Hungarn, geb. von / Matterstorf[sic] in Hung= / garn, des
Tit. H[errn] / Adam List, Schaf / fers zu Matterstorf / beym Fürst Esterhazy / leb[end] u. der Fr. Kathar[ina] / geb. Baumann, sel[ig] / ehel[icher] Sohn.
January 7th,  Mr. Adam List, head accountant with Prince Esterházy in Raiding in Hungary, born in Mattersdorf in Hungary, legitimate son of Adam List, workman in Mattersdorf at Prince Esterházy's, alive and of Mrs. Katharina [List], née Baumann deceased.
J[un]gf[er] Mar[ia] Anna / Laager, Stu= / benmagd gew[esen] / beÿ der Frau / v. Kurzbeck, / geb. von Krems, / des H. Mat= / thäus Laager / Bürgers da= / selbst sel[ig] u. / der Fr. Fr[an]z[is]ka / geb. Schuchmann / sel., ehel[iche] Tochter.
Derzeit / Pfarr= / ort zu / Matter= / storf / in Hungarn, / vordem / Pfarr St. / Steph. / Nro 1139. / dann
vordem/ Pf. Schotten / Nro 235.
22 / d[en] 9t Maÿ 788
The maiden Maria Anna Laager, formerly parlourmaid with Frau von Kurzbeck, born in Krems, legitimate daughter of Matthäus Laager, deceased citizen in said town, and Mrs. Franziska, née Schuchmann deceased. [Her] current parish is Mattersdorf in Hungary, formerly at St. Stephen's parish No. 1139, then at Schotten parish No. 235. [years of age] 22, [born] 9 May 1788