ESPER, E.J.C. & TOUSSAINT VON CHARPENTIER.
Die Schmetterlinge in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen von Eugenius Johann Christoph Esper. Herausgegeben mit Zusätzen von Toussaint von Charpentier. EuropäischeGattungen.
Leipzig, T.O. Weigel, (1829-1839). 7 volumes (5 volumes of text and 4 supplements bound in 5 & 2 volumes of plates in portfolio). 4to (270 x 215mm, text) & oblong-4to (235 x 300mm, atlas). pp. xxii, 388, (2), 190; 234; 396; 1-372; (4), 373-698, 85, (1); 276; (2), 120, 52, 104, 48, with 441 beautifully handcoloured engraved plates. Uniform 19th century half calf, gilt ornamented spines with blue gilt lettered label.
A fine complete copy of the second and most complete edition of this beautiful lepidopterological classic complete with the supplements. 'With Esper a real scholar arrives on the scene, and while so far we have seen a constant rise in the artistic quality of illustration, we are now aware for the first time of the so-called scientific approach, which did so much damage to Europe's culture in the nineteenth century. Esper did not hesitate to show one wing of inherently beautiful butterflies as seen from above, and the other one as seen from below' (Pfeiffer). Still, even Pfeiffer admits that this method offered new possibilities of comparative evaluation to the scholar, and Esper cannot be denied a strong artistic gift, which was greatly helped by the Nuremberg engraver Johann Carl Bock (fl. 1757-1806). During a stay in the Low Countries Bock was encouraged even more by artists of the school of Maria Sibylla Merian, who had formely worked in Nuremberg" (Nissen, Bestiaries pp. 71-72). Its fine plates are exceptionally delicately handcoloured and engraved by Bock, Sturm, Tyroff, Volkart, Walbert, a.o. after Esper's own drawings. Eugen Johann Christoph Esper (1742-1810) was a German entomologist and phycologist, professor at Erlangen and director of the Natural History Museum. His other major works are 'Icones Fucorum' published from 1797-1808 and 'Die Pflanzthiere' published from 1788-1830. Horn & Schenkling 6085; Nissen ZBI, 1316.
Item nr. 7534
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