14 October 2003
PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF ANITA PEEK GILGER, M.D.
MERIAN, Maria Sibylla (1647-1717). Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandlung und Sonderbare Blumennahrung... Nurmberg: J.A. Graff, Frankfurt: Mahler and Leipzig: Funken, 1679 and 1683.
2 parts in one volume. 4o (210 x 155 mm). Engraved titles and 100 engraved plates, a few partially colored by hand. (Some light marginal dampstaining). Contemporary vellum, spine ink lettered (some light darkening to covers and spine).
FIRST EDITION. Maria Sibylla Merian was a remarkable woman by any standards. Her life was punctuated by remarkable actions, such as travelling to Surinam only in the company of her younger daughter, and her reputation, already great in her own day, has grown with the centuries to make her the most famous female German artist of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
"In her preface Merian informs the reader that five years were required for preparation of the book. The work of these years consisted of both scientific and artistic activity: Merian collected and raised insects, fed them with their host plants, observed them, described and drew their metamorphoses from egg to caterpillar and from pupa to butterfly imago. She then compiled her individual observations and studies in pictorial compositions" (Wettengl, Merian exhibition catalogue number 37 and 65). No copy appears in abpc for the last 30 years.
This and the following 3 lots offer some of her most important printed works. Nissen BBI 1342.
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