In search of pharmacist Tobias Mauksch

Tobias Mauksch (1727-1802, sometimes spelled Maugsch or Maucksch), a Saxon from present-day Slovakia, was the most successful pharmacist of Cluj during the Baroque period. In 1760 he obtained an exclusive privilege from empress Maria Teresia. He became the only one with the right to run a pharmacy in the free royal city Cluj and to pass down the business to his children. Tobias had bought, from his uncle’s widow, the old urban pharmacy that had functioned since around 1550 in one of the buildings that stood around St. Michael’s church, and moved it to the house on the corner of the main square. He had the building renovated and decorated with interior painting in 1766. Tobias became curator of the evangelical church, chief of the police force, and even a senator of Cluj. He married twice and had 18 children. Two of his sons continued his profession and for them he acquired another pharmacy, in Târgu Mureș. The Unicorn pharmacy he bought in Cluj was gifted to his son-in-law. He died in Cluj, at the age of 75, and is buried in the Central Cemetery. His sons, Tobias Samuel Mauksch and Johann Martin Mauksch, ran the pharmacy in Cluj successively, but they both died relatively young. The business remained in the property of the latter’s widow and then daughter, Mathilde Augusta, under the coordination of paid administrators (Daniel Slaby from Bratislava and his heirs) and was eventually taken over by Mathilda’s son, György Hintz.

A number of artifacts connected to Tobias Mauksch have been preserved in the pharmacy collection from Cluj, three manuscripts and a glass container with a depiction of a stag, likely used in the pharmacy from Târgu Mureș. A portrait labeled Tóbiás Maucksch has been preserved by the Hintz family, but remains unclear if it depicts the privileged pharmacist or his son, Tobias Samuel. The funerary monument of the first has been recently restored by Dr. Georg Hintz.