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Historia naturalis Ranarum nostratium / Die naturliche Historie der Froesche hiesigen Landes

Historia naturalis Ranarum nostratium / Die naturliche Historie der Froesche hiesigen Landes

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Historia naturalis Ranarum nostratium / Die naturliche Historie der Froesche hiesigen Landes

by Roesel von Rosenhof, August Johann

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About This Item

(10), viii, 116, 48 engraved plates (24 handcolored each with an uncolored key plate), 1 colored, engraved frontis.

A very clean copy of the most well known and most desirable book on amphibians. Some plates trimed close effecting plate numbers on colored plates xiv, xix & xx, and uncolored plates xix, xx, xxi, xxii and a small portion of image (head of a dissectng pin) on both versions of plate xix. Faint dampstain on upper, inside corner of text pages 59-74 and a couple of the plates in this section.

"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." — Wood, 1931.

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. Four years later Rosel went to Nuremburg to continue his art training under the supervision of Johan Daniel Preisler. In 1726 Rosel went to the Danish court in Copenhagen to paint portraits and minatures. His paintings were so well received that he was asked to settle in Denmark. Unwilling to stay in Denmark he returned to Germany in 1728. During his journey back to Nuremberg, a high fever forced him to to stay in Hamburg for four-weeks. While in Hamburg, an aquaintance brought him a copy of Maria Sybilla Merian's book, Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium (1705). This book inspired Roesel to do a similar study of German species. After returning to Nuremburg, Roesel began studying the local fauna in his spare time. After years of study, the first part of his Der monatlich-herausgegebenen Insecten-Belustigung was published (1740). The book was praised for its outstanding illustrations, but Roesel also defined insects systematically and divided them into natural groups. Today he is considered the Father of German Entology. Insects were not the only animals Rosel was studying, and in 1753, the same year he added von Rosenhof to his name, the first part of his Historia Naturalis Ranarum Nostratium/Die natürliche Histoire der Frösche hiesigen Landes was published. This book was completed in 1758 and Abrecht von Haller contributed a preface to the work. The text of this book is in parallel columns of Latin and German, thus the double title. At a time when most zoological texts contained mere descriptions of animals (e.g., Catesby 1731-43. The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands; Seba 1734-1765. Locupletissimi rerum Naturalium Thesauri; or Linnaeus 1759. Systema Naturae), Roesel von Rosenhof described the natural history of amphibians in great detail. He could probably be considered the Father of Herpetological Natural History. Roesel von Rosenhof had begun a companion volume on lizards and salamanders, but in early 1759 a stroke paralyzed his left side. He died shortly after on March 27, 1759. (Adler, 1989; Gues, 1975)

Nissen ZBI 3464, BMNH p. 1720, Wood p. 541, Engelmann p. 422, Agassiz p. 211, Savage p. 655, Waterhouse p. 341


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Breck Bartholomew Natural History Books US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
Historia naturalis Ranarum nostratium / Die naturliche Historie der Froesche hiesigen Landes
Roesel von Rosenhof, August Johann
August Johann Rohesel von Rosenhof
Leather spine and corners with marbled boards. Seven raised bands and gilt tooling on spine.
Book Condition
Quantity Available
Johann Joseph Fleischmann
Place of Publication
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0.00 lbs
Amphibians, Frogs, Antiquarian
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Antiquarian & Rare;

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About the Seller

Breck Bartholomew Natural History Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since -1
Cottonwood Heights, Utah

About Breck Bartholomew Natural History Books

Specializing in antiquarian natural history books. Breck Bartholomew Natural History books, formerly Bibliomania, originally opened in 1995 as a herpetological bookstore. In 2016 my focus broadened to cover all natural history subjects as well as some related sciences, but narrowed to just rare and antiquarian books.


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Full page illustration or photograph. Plates are printed separately from the text of the book, and bound in at production. I.e.,...

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