Herrn de la Cepede's Naturgeschichte der Amphibien, oder der enerlegenden vierfussigen Thiere und der Schlangen: Eine Fortsetzung von Buffon's Naturgeschichte, in five volumes with hand-colored plates

By Bechstein, Johann Matthaus

SKU# 19595

$ 6,000.00

 Pp. xxxii, 524; xx, 552; xxvi, 454; xx, 298; xii, 200; 168 mostly hand-colored lithographed plates.  Light brown original boards, spine with red and black title/author labels and gilt panel lines, all pages edges in light green, 8vo.  This scarce work is a translation into German of Count B.-G.-E- Lacepede’s “Histoire Naturelle des Quadrupedes Ovipares et des Serpens” originally published in 1788-1789.  According to Adler’s “History of Herpetology” (p. 33-34), Lacepede’s work was one of the most important herpetological books of its time.  The first two volumes of this work is devoted to amphibians and reptiles except for snakes.  The following three volumes cover snakes including caecilians and amphisbaenians.  According to Adler, Bechstein’s version is far more than a mere translation because he revised it with the addition of new information that appeared subsequent to Lacepede’s work, particularly from the works of German authors such as Blasius Merrem, J. G. Schneider and Johann David Schoepff.  Bechstein also added extensive footnotes and additional accounts of new species; all of these are signed with the letter “B”.  All of the 168 plates are newly engraved for Bechstein’s work.  According to Adler, a large portion of this work is original and perhaps Bechstein was simply using Lacepede’s name merely to publish what is almost his own book and in a field where he had no standing.  No ownership marks and few signs of use.


Verlage des Industrie: Comptoir's
Publisher Place Weimar
Date Published 1800-1802
Date Published Estimated No
Edition First edition
Number of Volumes 5
Reprint No
Condition Near fine
Condition Description Light scattered foxing to title pages with no affect to the plates; a bright and clean copy in near fine condition.
Limited Edition