19 November 2002
Franz Anton von Scheidel (1731-1801)
A Monitor lizard
inscribed 'Lacerta Monitor. Wachhalte' (upper centre) and 'R: Cols.monn.' (upper left)
pencil and watercolour, heightened with gum arabic, framed and glazed
362 x 504mm.
inscribed 'Lacerta Iguana. Kammleguan' (lower centre)
pencil and watercolour, framed and glazed
352 x 495mm.
A FINE PAIR OF FINISHED WATERCOLOURS FROM THE ACCOMPLISHED NATURAL HISTORY ARTIST FRANZ VON SCHEIDEL.
Franz von Scheidel worked in Vienna with Nicolaus Joseph Jacquin (1827-1817), producing botanical watercolours for the latter's Flora Austriaca and Hortus botanicus Vindobonensis. In addition, Scheidel produced work for Friedrich Martini's huge work on shells Neues systematisches Conchylien-Cabinet. The present drawings appear to have originally been part of a bound collection of zoological drawings. Another drawing from the same collection (of an Ermine) was sold in London in April 1989 (Sotheby's 25-27 April 1989 lot 25).
'With three exceptions, all the genera of [the Iguana]... family belong to the New World... where they occur as far south as Patagonia, while extending northward... as far as California and British Columbia' (Encyclopedia Britannica 1911, XIV, p.295). The family of the Monitor lizard (containing 46 members) is more widespread, and representatives are found in Africa, Asia and Australasia. (2)
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