Carl Christoph Stiller, also known as Karl Christoph St. and using the pseudonym Peter Hammer in 1794 was a distinguished German bookseller and publisher. Born on May 16, 1763, in Strehlen, Silesia, and passing away on April 30, 1836, in Rostock, his life was marked by a significant contribution to the world of literature and publishing.
Life and Work
Stiller’s education was primarily conducted by private tutors, and he later embarked on a bookseller apprenticeship in Breslau. Following a brief period of work at the schoolbook store of Joachim Heinrich Campe in Braunschweig, he arrived in Rostock, where he became an accountant at Koppeschen Buchhandlung. This bookstore was founded by Johann Christian Sigismund Koppe and continued by his son Johann Hinrich Koppe, who also served as the Mayor of Rostock.
In 1793, Stiller married Louisa Frederica, the granddaughter of the firm’s founder, and took over the bookstore after Johann Hinrich Koppe’s passing at Christmas in 1793. Tragically, his wife passed away in 1802. According to the 1819 census, Stiller was recorded with his second wife, Elisa, born Scherer (1781), the daughter of Rostock’s Court Cellar Master, his son Ferdinand Stiller (1806), and a foster daughter born in Dresden, Eleonore Stiller (1807).
Under his guidance, the bookstore, now known as Stillersche Buchhandlung and designated as a Hofbuchhandlung (Court Bookstore) in 1819, thrived and expanded. In 1811, Stiller established a branch in Schwerin.
Stiller’s publishing endeavors encompassed a diverse range of works. His publishing house released the annual Jahrbücher des Vereins für mecklenburgische Geschichte und Altertumskunde (Yearbooks of the Association for Mecklenburg History and Antiquities) from 1803 to 1831, as well as various Freemasonry texts.
Notable publications included the “Neue Taschenbuch für Freimaurer” (New Pocket Book for Freemasons) in 1801, “Auserlesene Freimaurer-Lieder” (Selected Freemason Songs) in 1798 and 1804, and the first bibliography on Freemasonry in Germany, “Deutsche Bücherkunde der Freimaurerei” (German Bibliography of Freemasonry), in 1830.
Stiller also served as the editor of several publications, including the “Patriotisches Archiv des Herzogtums Mecklenburg” (Patriotic Archive of the Duchy of Mecklenburg) from 1801 to 1804, the “Vaterländisches Unterhaltungsblatt für gebildete Stände” (National Entertainment Journal for Educated Classes) in 1820, and the “Neuer literarischer Anzeiger für Mecklenburg” (New Literary Gazette for Mecklenburg) from 1826 to 1836.
In addition to his publishing work, Stiller made notable contributions to education and culture. He donated his auction books to the Große Stadtschule Rostock (Great City School Rostock) and presented an extensive portrait collection in eight albums and four supplementary albums with biographical information (Porträt-Sammlung in 8 Alben und 4 Supplement-Alben Bildnisse mit Lebensnachrichten A-Z) to the University Library Rostock.
What was Christoph Stiller’s Cause of Death?
Christophe Stiller, the German conductor and musical director of Hessian theater studies, passed away at the age of 53 on Saturday, December 17th. The actual cause of his death has not been revealed.