Vogelbüch. Darin die Art, Natur und Eigenschafft aller Vöglen sampt irer waren Contrafactur angezeigt wirt...
Zürich, Conrad Froschauer, 1557. Folio (383 x 250mm). Leaves (6), cclxii (of cclxiii), (1, blank),with over 200 woodcuts in the text, some full-page. Recent vellum.
First edition in German. Lacks one leaf and about 40 leaves have minor repaired tears in the lower margin. Old paper has been pasted over the tears by a former owner, causing in 2 or 3 instances a tiny replacement of the text in old calligraphic manuscript similar to the printed text. Lower margin of title and a few corners with old paper repair not affecting the text. Gessner's role in the development of bird art is pivotal: along with Pierre Belon, he was one of the first to use original drawings of birds for their illustrations (see Anker p. 9). The majority of the fine woodcuts are by Lukas Schan 'whose fidelity to nature completely outshone most of the 144 pictures by Belon's Parisian painter, Pierre Gourdelle?This German 'Vogelbuch' was addressed not to scholars but, as it states on the title page, to 'all lovers of art/ doctors?. Huntsmen and cooks/ not merely for agreeable diversion/ but for practical and serviceable use.' Therefore the translator, Rudolf Heusslin of Zürich, omitted all the scholarly apparatus and retained only what could be useful in practice. Though certainly not an easy task, it was splendidly performed?' (Stresemann pp. 19-20). Nissen IVB, 350.
Item nr. 9418
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