Unknown Language: message in an 18th-century engraving


New Member
English- American
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide. I am a university scholar studying a series of engravings from 1783-4, and one of the pictures has this "hidden message" carved into a wall at Versailles. I cannot identify the language, but some of the symbols suggest Hebrew. You'll find a detail from the illustration attached here.

Thank you again!


  • message Versailles image 1 1783.jpg
    message Versailles image 1 1783.jpg
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  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    What is the country of origin? What is it an engraving of? What is the figure above it? And so on.


    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    The title itself, at the top of the engraving is also mirrored. Perhaps done when the bilingual French/German inscription was added at the bottom.

    Exp[é]rience a[ë]rostatique faite Versailles le 19 sept. 1783

    Entitled: Exp[é]rience a[ë]rostatique faite Versailles le 19 sept. 1783
    etching, hand-colored. | Vue d'optique shows the balloon launched by the Montgolfier brothers ascending from the Palace of Versailles, France, before the royal family, September 19, 1783. A sheep, a duck and a rooster were the only passengers aboard the first balloon flight.
    Caption (German): Versuch welcher zu Versailles den 19 Sept. 1783 in Gegenwart Ihrn Majestäten ...
    Title from item, printed in reverse.

    A word (or two) is (are) obsucred by the gentleman’s coat tails. The next word is main followed by in rvriεvin »
    Apart from the symbol epsilon the rest of the characters seem quite french. Perhaps it is meant as an unintelligible text.
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