17 June 2008
ESPER, Johann Friedrich (1732-1781). Ausführliche Nachricht von neu entdeckten Zoolithen unbekannter vierfüsiger Thiere. Nuremberg: Georg Wolfgang Knorr, 1774.
2° (420 x 255 mm). One engraved text illustration and 14 hand-colored engraved plates by V. Bischoff, J.A. Eisenmann and A. Hoffer. (Occasional light browning to text.) Contemporary mottled calf, covers with a gilt roll border, flat gilt spine with red morocco lettering piece, pink glazed endpapers (extremities lightly rubbed, covers scuffed).
THE FIRST BOOK ON THE DISCOVERY OF FOSSIL HUMANS. Esper discovered fossilized remains of extinct animals and human bones in the cave of Gaillenreuth in Barvaria. Though initially considering that man had lived side-by-side with these animals, Esper adopted the deluvian interpretation that the fossils were brought together during the Biblical flood. The book was published simultaneously in German and French. RARE: American Book Prices Current records only three copies of the French translation (1774) selling at auction since 1975, and none of the first edition in German. Nissen ZBI 1318.
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