Historia naturalis Ranarum nostratium / Die naturliche Historie der Froesche hiesigen Landes
By Roesel von Rosenhof, August Johann
Pp. (10), viii, 116, 48 engraved plates (24 are hand-colored each with a matching uncolored key plate), 1 hand-colored frontispiece, engraved title page, 8 engraved headpieces in the text. Contemporary mottled calf, probably German, spine with 7 raised bands, gilt-lettered on red morocco label in one compartment and with a repeating emblematic gilt-scene showing St. Francis in the other 7 compartments, folio (17.5 x 12 inches), in black cloth-covered clamshell box with gilt title/author label on the box spine. "The present volume is one of the classics of amphibiology. The illustrations are of the finest and the whole work is admirably done. The title and text appear both in Latin and German and there is a preface by A. von Haller--altogether a very valuable, early contribution to the literature of the Batrachia" (from Wood, 1931, p. 541). This work is from the private collection of Countess Sophie Potocha of Lancut Castle, Poland with her signature on the title page. Countess Sophie (Zofia) Potocha lived between 1760-1822. August Johan Roesel was born into an Austrian noble family in Augustenburg, near Arnstadt, Germany on March 30, 1705. Following the early death of his father, his godmother, the reigning princess of Arnstadt-Schwarzburg, assumed responsibility for his education. She encouraged his artistic ability and in 1720 he was apprenticed to his uncle, Wilhem Roesel von Rosenhof, a well-known painter. During his early research on insects, Roesel studied amphibians and reptiles. This work culminated in the publication of Historia naturalis ranarum in several installments between 1753 and 1758. When all of them had appeared, Albrecht von Haller offered to contribute a preface to the work. The text of the Historia, printed in both Latin and German, contains descriptions of all the German frogs and toads. The twenty-four plates in large folio format are presented in pairs: those on the left-hand page show simple outlines of their subjects; those on the right-hand page are produced in unusually sumptuous and graphic colors (after DSB). From the research collection of herpetologist Kraig Adler with his small bookplate on inside of the slipcase and his small signature at the top of the title page.
|Publisher||Johann Joseph Fleischmann|
|Date Published Estimated||No|
|Number of Volumes||1|
|Condition Description||A very bright and clean copy with brilliant hand-colored plates, outer corners a little rubbed, in near fine condition in a new clamshell cloth-covered box.|