MARCUS LISER BLOCH (1723-1799)
Ichtyologie, ou histoire naturelle, gnrale et particulire. Avec des figures enlumines, dessines d'aprs nature. Translated from the German by Jean-Charles Thibault de Laveux. Berlin, Paris, and London: chez l'auteur, Didot le jeune and White & Sons, Imprimerie Louis Phillippe Wegner, 1785-1788. 6 parts only (of 12) in 6 volumes (420 x 270mm). Half-titles, engraved title vignettes by Berger after Rosenberg, 216 FINE HAND-COLOURED ENGRAVED PLATES, 6 printed in sanguine, 2 in bistre, and 1 in blue, by F.G. Berger, Berger sen., G. Bodenehr, C. Darchow, P. Haas, J.F. Henning, C. Ludwig Schmidt, J.G. Schmidt and others after J.F. Henning, Krger jun. and others. (Plate 35 lightly spotted, plates 42, 45-6, and 49 each with pencil line extending from upper edge 5-9 cm into plate, short tear in lower margin of Mm2 in vol. II, paper flaw to Ii2 in vol. V with resultant loss to upper corner, not affecting text, plate 204 and adjacent leaves with small stain to plate-mark.) Contemporary half russia, spines tooled in gilt (extremities rubbed, corners bumped, a few small areas of loss to covers).
FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH of one of the finest works on fish. Many of the plates are heightened in silver, and some are printed in brilliant colours and finished by hand. Bloch was born in Ansbach and studied medicine and the natural sciences; he practised as a physician in Berlin, and while the Ichtyologie is rightly considered his masterpiece, he also wrote various other important scientific works. The German edition of the Ichtyologie, entitled Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische, was published in 1782-1795, and a second set of six parts published by Godefroy Hayn between 1795 and 1797. It is generally given that the complete work comprises twelve parts, although the title-page of the sixth part reads 'sixime et dernire partie'. Nissen ZBI 416; Wood p. 244 'One of the early and fundamental treatises on general ichthyology by a well-known authority.' (6)