KNORR, G.W. & WALCH, J.E.I.
De natuurlyke historie der versteeningen, of uitvoerige afbeelding en beschryving van de versteende zaaken, die tot heden op den aardbodem zyn ontdekt: ... Uit het hoog- in 't nederduitsch vertaald door M. Houttuyn, met verscheide aanmerkingen.
Amsterdam, J.C. Sepp, 1773. 3 volumes (bound in 4). Folio (445 x 275mm). pp. (4), xiv, 64; (4), 1-184; (2), 185-484; (4), 236, with 1 double-page handcoloured engraved plate 'Marmer-Groeve na by Solnhofen', some engraved head- & woodcut tail-pieces and 272 hand-coloured or colour-printed engraved plates. Contemporary half calf, gilt ornamented spines in 7 compartments with red gilt lettered label, marbled sides (very minor restoration to spines).
A fine copy of 'one of the best illustrated and most complete accounts on fossils...' (Landwehr 95). "The outstanding work of this period is undoubtedly that of Knorr and Walch in four volumes ... The first volume was written by the Nürnberg collector and artist, Georg Wolfgang Knorr (born 1705, died 1761), and the other three volumes were prepared after the death of Knorr by Professor Walch of Jena ..." (Zittel pp. 21-22). The rare Dutch edition of the German original 'Naturgeschichte der Versteinerungen' (Nuremberg 1768-1773) with the same beautiful plates. Volume II almost entirely concerns fossil shells. "It is hardly possible to exaggerate the beauty and fidelity of the representations of the fossils in his plates. No such illustrations had ever before appeared, and they have hardly been surpassed since. By delicate lines on the copper plates the most minute intricacies of structure are reproduced, and by thin washes of colour the tints of the original specimens are represented. His renderings of dentritic markings, landscape-marble, fossil plants, crustacea, crinoids, fishes and other fossils are admirable examples of the union of artistic workmanship with scientific accuracy ..." (Geikie, Founders of Geology, pp. 101-102). 'The extraordinary quality of the plates, representing the eighteenth-century continuation of the tradition of Dürer, led to an expansion of the work by Walch, as well as to French and Dutch editions... the detail and accuracy of Knorr's engravings not only made possible zoological classification but firmly established the distinction between fossils of organic and sports of nature' (DSB). The books portrays and describes a.o fossils in the cabinets of famous collectors such as Walch at Jena, Adam Hildebrand at Naumberg, Jac. Theod. Klein, Johann Hermannus at Regensburg, S.R. Genzmer at Stargard, as well as the large collection of Casimir Schmidel. Nissen ZBI, 2233; Ward & Carozzi 1285; Landwehr 95.
Item nr. 8790
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